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.
Fonaines DC – Sunday 3 October
De Montfort Hall
Fontaines D.C. met as a quintet in Dublin, influenced and driven in equal measure by the rich history of their hometown’s counter-culture, their response has been to make concise and immediately authentic indie-punk that has done anything but fall on deaf ears. TICKETS
Nick Cave & Warren Ellis – Friday 1 October
De Montfort Hall
In their first ever tour as a duo, Cave and Ellis will play 20 shows across the UK this September and October, following the release of their acclaimed album Carnage. While they have composed and recorded soundtracks together, and Ellis is a long-term member of The Bad Seeds, Carnage is the first entire album of songs the pair have released.
Cave and Ellis’ creative chemistry is rooted in their long history of music making, both as collaborators and as individual artists. They first crossed paths in 1993, when Ellis played violin on several songs for the Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds album, Let Love In, before going on to join the band as a full-time member. TICKETS.
Fatherson – Tuesday 5 October
Fatherson are a four piece alternative / indie band based in Glasgow and formed in Kilmarnock. They have been making waves in the Scottish music scene following a string of supports with bands such as Frightened Rabbit, Panic! at the Disco, Feeder, Twin Atlantic and Idlewild. 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.
Peter Bruntnell – Thursday 7 October
Peter Bruntnell released his tenth studio album, King Of Madrid in 2019. Described by Mojo as “unashamedly lush, lovely, classic pop”, it featured in the magazine’s Top 10 Americana Albums of 2019, garnering further praise across the board, including from the Scottish Express who awarded it a five-star review, declaring – as The Independent once did – that Bruntnell is “one of the best songwriters in Britain”. TICKETS
INTERVIEW – Carol Leeming
Carol Leeming has been on the Leicester music and arts scene for many years, from live music performances to spoken word. As Black History Month approaches we caught up with Carol to talk about some of her upcoming events and the issues still facing many within the industry.
Tell us about your upcoming music events for Black History Month
This BHM 2021 I am performing after a long gap. This Saturday 2 Oct at Leicester James Bistro venue, I will be a special guest of music friend Andrea Kenny & Token Boy Band, to debut new songs for my forthcoming Jupiter Butterfly Album. This music marks a new musical direction for me going back to my music roots of Blues Folk and Reggae.
I’m also going to be at an event in conversation with colleague Dr Lisa Palmer, from Stephen Lawrence centre DMU, and one of the Queens of Lovers Rock Reggae Music, Sandra Cross. This will be to discuss Women in Lovers Rock Music. I had previously discussed this topic with Dr. Lisa Palmer, with reference to her research into this subject, in an important conversation earlier in the year, for Sonic Vibrations Part 2, Part is available here.
What are the difficulties faced by women within reggae music?
Women in Reggae music face the same difficulties, created by patriarchy and sexism, faced by all Women across all music genres, across the music industry. All Women in music, have common problems, eg. of being excluded, marginalised, not being taken seriously or validated, or to have artistic control, i.e. control the way they are marketed and promoted. Often over-sexualisation or in some cases infantilising Women in music. Many recent research studies also show the low numbers of women, at all levels, in the music industry work force, demonstrating the significant barriers and discrimination they face. Therefore, we have new organisations like Women in Ctrl, looking address these issues, the music industry and Reggae Music needs to do far more to support Women in their music careers. When I was in Sound Systems there were a couple of us as Singers, now I rarely see any Women in Reggae Sound Systems.
How important is it to recognise and to explore these marginalised areas in the music industry?
I think it is very important, I think it is long overdue that it is not only recognised, as I think there is ample evidence of the marginalisation, but what is needed is positive measurable action taken to address these issues, not lofty pledges from the music industry.
You have a long history in the music and arts sector in Leicester, what have been some of the highlights?
Some of my personal highlights and successes include… being a Programmer of 32 African Caribbean music acts across 8 stages across our city centre for BBC Music Live Leicester, part of a national festival broadcast on TV. My Millennium Commission as Composer, Conductor, Lead Percussionist (Timbales), with a music ensemble of 18 members (all local musicians), for Sankofa Afrikan Jazz. Or IN2BLUZ a Blues Music Youth project, of workshops, CD showcase and video in Eyres Monsell, Beaumont Leys and Highfields areas. My performance at Serendipity Arts celebration of Billy Holiday concert at City Hall, Oxjam when I was programmer in the Cultural Quarter, local promoters, musicians, all working together with venues for a good cause. Importantly, my time as 2Funky Arts Music Director mentoring showcases and developing Leicester MOBO early career artists.
What are some of the most culturally important venues in Leicester?
For me, affordable accessible venues, which is why 2Funky Complex venue is so very important, as they have successfully platformed music, dance, visual arts, poetry, that is culturally diverse, for a very broad age range, across many different communities. Clearly mainstream arts venues like Curve, Phoenix, Attenborough Arts are important and we look forward, in the wake of #BLM and the Leicester demographics, to become more culturally diverse. However, we need more financial and other support for bars, pubs and community centres and other spaces in the city, to offer more culturally diverse arts and culture. I think also the newer visual gallery spaces are important too.
Who are some of your favourite local acts?
Some of my favourite local acts include local artists like;
Brilliant Music Artists like: Ayolah, Nia Songbird, Lydia Unsudimi, Tayo Brandford, Jada, Ffion Lawrence, Alice Kube, Sun Sun Harrio Georgio, Maniscooler, also Jafro, Luther and Jerome Gamble. Plus exciting Poets/Spoken Word artists like, Cynthia Rodriguez, Rosa Fernadez, and Cathi Rae.
How important is it for people to be out supporting local venues and artists at the moment?
In the wake of Covid 19 it is critical. I have long been a champion of Leicester, moved to write poetry about it.
We need greater passion and commitment from our local authority, other investors and stakeholders in the local economy, in our excellent culturally diverse artists creatives, as we see in other cities like Nottingham. As I and others programmed music arts online in the Covid 19 lockdown we know the immense value of the arts to people, for enjoyment, as well as their health and well-being. Our city and its people need a big boost, to re-build confidence in going out, but we also need to improve our arts cultural offer, with more investment in local artists creatives. and light touch bureaucracy. As talented artists, creatives, working with local venues often tend to be full of great ideas, are resourceful and resilient – which is what our city needs.
Where can people find out more about your upcoming events?
If people want to know my forthcoming events activities they can find out
Facebook: Dare to Diva
This week in our latest playlist we’re showcasing some of the acts you can see live in Leicester over the coming weeks. Get listening and buy some tickets.
Have a listen and get in touch to tell us which tracks you’re loving.