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Blossoms- De Montfort Hall
Thursday 20 June
Psyche-pop riffs, vocal melodies, a film noir meets 60s aesthetic and a range of audible references from Arctic Monkeys via Abba to The Doors, have made Blossoms a huge hit with audiences around the country. With a huge summer of festivals ahead of them including Benicassim, Parklife, Community Festival, Reading & Leeds and more, they’re doing a short run of smaller warm-up shows, including De Montfort Hall on 20 June. Tickets go on sale on Friday 5 April from the De Montfort Hall website.
Shonen Knife – The Cookie
Tuesday 16 July
The 3-piece Japanese pop-punk outfit have been performing for over 30 years. They hold Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Sultans of Ping among their fans and even supported Nirvana on tour in America. They were personally chosen by Simpsons creator Matt Groening to play 2010’s All Tomorrow’s Parties festival, have recorded sessions for John Peel and even appeared on MTV’s Beavis and Butthead. TICKETS.
The Clone Roses + Kazabian – 02 Academy 2
Saturday 14 December
Two of the UK’s leading tribute bands join forces for a pre-Christmas show at O2 Academy Leicester. The Clone Roses are widely considered to be the closest thing you will find to recreate the look and sound of The Stone Roses. They have been gigging for 15 years and have even acquired the same instruments and exact same clothing as The Roses’ recent shows, the bring their act up to date. They’ll be joined by Kazabian, who will pay tribute to arguably Leicester’s best ever musical export. Tickets are on sale now. TICKETS.
Open mic – The Soundhouse
Last Tuesday The Soundhouse had a special guest show up for their weekly open mic as Kasabian’s Tom Meighan joined in the fun. He got up on stage for a couple of covers from The Beatles, including She Loves You, as well as a sneak glimpse of some new material. Be like Tom and support the local scene. Slots are available weekly from 8pm and head down early to get your name down.
MC Lars – The Soundhouse
Wednesday 3 April
Your favourite laptop-rap and lit-hop star, Mc Lars is back in Leicester for his “THIS GIGANTIC ROBOT KILLS: THE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY TOUR”. On this tour he’s bringing some excellent company over with him from the States too, as Mega Ran and favourites of Frank Turner, Koo Koo Kangaroo, will co headline the show. The most fun you can have on a Wednesday night. Tickets are priced at £10. TICKETS.
Art School Girlfriend – The Cookie
Wednesday 3 April
Art School Girlfriend (also known as multi-instrumentalist, Polly) delivers “wonderfully gothic doses of twilight pop” (Clash). Having been raised on new wave and shoegaze, she had experience in a number of bands before progressing under the Art School Girlfriend moniker. She’s earnt comparisons to the likes of Beach House and Massive Attack with her self-produced tracks, often exploring themes of queer identity and disillusionment, also catching the attention of Grammy Award-winning producer Paul Epworth, whose label she later signed for. Tickets are priced at £7. TICKETS.
Pete Morton – The Musician
Thursday 4 April
Folk singer and self-proclaimed old school troubadour, Pete Morton is no stranger to performing, having been a live act for nearly two decades with his unique and involving style of music. He sings from the heart delivering songs telling compelling stories and speaking of the human condition in a totally original style. From good humoured traditional material to classic folk songs, it’s sure to be a midweek treat. TICKETS.
The Magic of Motown – De Montfort Hall
Friday 5 April
Enjoy The Magic of Motown as the show returns for their 50 Years of Number One Hits tour this Friday. Live on stage you’ll enjoy the music of the Temptations, Diana Ross and The Supremes, Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye, Lionel Richie, Martha Reeves, Isley Brothers and plenty more. A must for any Motown fan. Tickets from £27. TICKETS.
Girli – The Cookie
Friday 5 April
Kick start your weekend with Girli’s blend of bubblegum pop mixed with Brit rap and electronic punk. She’s described her own sound as “political pop with an element of punk”, and never veers away from talking about the topics she feels passionately about. “I would absolutely recommend anyone looking for stress-relieving, pure joyous fun, to follow her tour around the UK and go see her as soon as possible. Girli is an artist who is heading for the top and she’s going to get there even sooner than you think.” (The Panoptic). TICKETS.
Dark Bloom – Vault at The Shed
Friday 5 April
Friday Club – The Rutland & Derby
Friday 5 April
Live music returns to The Rutland & Derby on Millstone Lane to kick start your weekend. Enjoy a range of offers including 2 cocktails for £12 between 5-7 pm, 2 pizzas for £15 from 7-9 pm and live music from 9pm. Free entry.
Live Music & Gourmet Burgers – The Pumping Station
Friday 5 April
Back by popular demand, now on Fridays you can enjoy an afternoon and evening of burgers and live music at The Pumping Station, set in their beautiful Grade II listed building and grounds. With burgers being served from midday, including a children’s menu, right through to the evening. Live music starts from 8.30pm, it’s free entry all night and the bar is open until midnight, serving a large range of gins, rums and craft beers. (Note, this event is at The Pumping Station on Bradgate Road, Cropston, LE7 7GB)
Steve Pilgrim – The Donkey
Saturday 6 April
Probably best known as the drummer for Paul Weller (among others), Liverpool’s Steve Pilgrim had been writing and recording since 2007. His acoustic driven and song-focused albums feature a supporting cast of talented musicians, double bass, piano, trumpet and vocals. The recordings are simultaneously sad and celebratory, intimate and honest. TICKETS.
Biff Bang Pow Club night – Duffy’s
Saturday 6 April
The long running club night returns! Scroll down to read our spotlight feature and find out more. Free entry.
The Della Grants – The Musician
Saturday 6 April
Hailing from Leicester, The Della Grants merge blues, rock, and R&B to great effect. Having played alongside some top acts including Canned Heat and Wilko Johnson, the four piece have quickly made a name for themselves among industry professionals and fellow musicians alike for their song writing ability and on stage performances. TICKETS.
Jesse Wright Band – The Soundhouse
Saturday 6 April
Jesse Wright brings her blend of sunshine pop, funk and soul to The Soundhouse for a Saturday night show alongside The Bellatones and Idle Empire. Bellatones are well known for their folk laden, energetic live performances, whilst Idle Empire’s rip-roaring indie/folk style turns even the gentlest of acoustic sessions into a table banging, fist pumping carnival of pleasure. A top night of live music for only £4. TICKETS.
The Story of Guitar Heroes – Loughborough Town Hall
Sunday 7 April
With over 20 guitars used on stage, the show accurately recreates the sound and ambiance of each guitar hero starting from the 1950’s to the present day. Expect Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Hank Marvin, Brian May and Slash among many others, whose sounds you’ll get to experience in the show. The live concert style ‘rockumentry’ also features the very latest in video screen technology to create a larger than life event. “If you like music and guitars you will LOVE this show!” TICKETS.
King No-One – 02 Academy 2
Sunday 7 April
The indie rock 4 piece from York have been hyped by Huw Stephens and have received support from 6Music and XFM. With their original material ranging from smooth chilled melodic vibes to raw expressive rock filled with hyper hooks, rockin’ riffs, catchy choruses and endless energy, King No-one have been picking up an army of new fans. They’ve supported Embrace, played Neighbourhood Weekender and Reading & Leeds and Drowned In Sound Founder, Sean Adams, named them as his “Favourite new band”. TICKETS.
Nilufer Yanya – The Cookie
Monday 8 April
Growing up listening to Nina Simone, Amy Winehouse and Pixies, Nilufer was also exposed to a mix of diverse sounds from an early age thanks to her parents who were both artists themselves. A BBC Sound of 2018 nod and rave live reviews later, the soulful indie solo artist has picked up huge support. She has supported the likes of The xx, Interpol, Broken Social Scene and Mitski on tour and now, Nilüfer is enjoying the success of her recently released debut album, Miss Universe. TICKETS.
Alex Rex – The Musician
Monday 8 April
Founding member and songwriter of folk-rock band Trembling Bells, Alex Rex sings songs of love, loss and loathing. Misanthropy has never sounded so glorious. Known for his continuing collaborations with Alasdair Roberts and Richard Youngs, and for his work with elusive Jandek, Rex is staple part of the folk-rock revival. TICKETS.
Sunday 5 May
This year Handmade Festival heads back to the city centre, with acts appearing across 10 stages and venues. As always, the line-up celebrates the best new talent mixed with some massive names, and this year festival goers can look forward to the likes of Metronomy, The Futureheads, Black Honey, The Sherlocks, Jamie Lenman, Dark Dark Horse, Estrons, The Lids, and so many more. Since 2013 the festival has grown year on year and now provides the annual highlight of the city centre’s music calendar. Tickets are £35 and you can grab yours HERE.
“Every guitar band worth their salt is playing handmade!” NME
The Vamps – De Montfort Hall
Monday 20 May
Kris Roe – The Soundhouse
Wednesday 10 April
Kris Roe, frontman of The Ataris, is heading to Leicester for a special solo show on Wednesday 10 April. Expect a mix of old pop-punk favourites from The Ataris’ back catalogue along with some new material. Tickets are priced at £12 and on sale now. TICKETS.
In Conversation: Biff Bang Pow Club night
Their club nights have been running for 11 years and are a huge hit with anyone who’s a fan of 60s music, Mod beat, psychedelia and indie. With the next event coming up this weekend at Duffy’s we caught up with the team behind Biff Bang Pow.
What is Biff Bang Pow for anyone who’s never been before?
Biff Bang Pow is a club night held at either Firebug or Duffys in Leicester, which is run by Stuart & Melissa. Melissa handles the online promotion, books the bands and designs the posters and Stu is the one with the encyclopaedic musical library.
Regular DJs include Stuart Gray and Pete Gough (and occasionally Melicious), playing a musical trip through early 60s R&B, to Mod beat, onto 60s psychedelia, to late 60s/early 70s acid rock, bit of glam, punk, new wave, 80s indie, Madchester, bit of Britpop and also current nu-psychedelia. Plus it’s all played on vinyl.
We also often have guest Djs play our nights. Most recently we were joined by Rob Bailey from London’s “New Untouchables” other guest DJs include Pete Feely & Pete Whitehouse (Perfumed Garden, Derby) and Mark Winkelman (Mind Fuzz, Dublin)
To complicate things further we also run a few ‘specialist nights’. Dandelion Club is our Psychedelic night, Something for the Weekend is our Britpop/90s Indie night and Dirt is our Punk/New Wave night, along with Kev Lloyd. However the Biff Bang Pow night covers all of these, so keep an eye on social media for upcoming dates.
What made you start the night up?
Biff Bang Pow actually started in Glasgow around 2001. Stuart is from Scotland and before moving to Leicester he was in a band called Viva Stereo. He started Biff Bang Pow as a pre club night in the back room of a pub in Glasgow where Stuart and the band’s guitarist Rob McKinlay, played a mix of everything from indie, to psychedelia, to hip hop, soul, folk, funk and electronica.
Stuart moved to Leicester in 2006, Melissa was already involved in promoting The Lava Lounge at Firebug but we wanted to start up a joint venture so we decided to use the Biff Bang Pow name down here to try and bring the same vibe along. Over time we started to move away from the soul/funk/electronica route and focused on the psychedelic/indie side of things.
Others might remember a couple of weekend festivals that we put on at Firebug under the ‘Lose Your Cool’ and ‘Lazy Sunday’ banner. After a few line-up changed, Pete Gough (from ex local band The Junipers) joined and we continued with this line up to the current day. It’s coming up to 11 years since we first started in Leicester, so think we. may be one of the longest running nights!
What’s your favourite thing about running the nights?
Definitely meeting new people and catching up with old friends. People don’t go out as much as they used to due to costs, so we try to put on nights where people know it will be quality and worth their while to make the effort. The vibe is meant to be like a house party, but with no clearing up afterwards!
What are some of the tracks that people can expect to be played?
Difficult question! We have such a wide range of musical areas we cover so you are likely to hear an obscure 1960s Garage Punk track next to a new release from The Brian Jonestown Massacre. Its not all obscure music for the sake of it, we play the greats, Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Stone Roses, etc and anything to get people dancing. But mostly we like to play to the crowd so everyone has a good time. We’re lucky that the regulars who come along are always up for hearing good music
If you’ve never been and are curious, we have an ever growing Spotify playlist with music we play that people can check out… https://open.spotify.com/user/ballstomonty/playlist/5Xy4G58LTS0CQbtPuVwkTb?fo=
The REVIVE Festival is taking place in Leicester this summer, celebrating Mod culture, what do you think to the heritage and scene in Leicester and what are you most looking forward to about the festival?
Melissa has actually been involved in this and the Mods Project due to her work with Soft Touch Arts. We’ve got massive interest in the 1960s – the music, clothes, art and films and also what the local scene was like back then. I doubt many people realise how many great acts played in tiny venues in Leicester in the 60s, so anything that’s going to tell that story is great news for us.
What’s the best song to get everyone dancing at Biff Bang Pow? ‘
‘No One’ by local Psychedelic legends Legay always gets the dancefloor full. Although the one tune that’s probably been played to a great reaction at nearly every Biff Bang Pow is ‘Sons of the Stage’ by World of Twist. But there are loads more! We’re in the process of doing a Biff Bang Pow Top 100, but even thats been tricky!
Do you have live bands on or just DJs?
We’ve often had live bands on, which is great fun, and we’ve met so many great people by putting the bands on. We treat it as a collective rather than a business so we always ensure the bands get looked after, so hopefully they always ask to play again.
Leicester band The Junipers are a Biff Bang Pow favourite, along with Bob of the Pops (Robyn & Ben from The Junipers). A personal highlight was having 60s psych legends, July, play at Firebug, along with The Small Fakers & Are You Experienced, all of which were sell out gigs. Welsh band El Goodo played in Jan 2018 and it was an amazing night! Because our night is quite niche, and word has spread, we often get approached by bands from further afield so we do our best to get them on eg: Rotterdam band, JC Thomas and the missing slippers, and Barcelona band, Stay. Also special mention to our mate Rich whose bands The See See and The Hanging Stars have both played a few times.
Who are some of your favourite local bands making waves at the moment?
Our night is really quite niche and we love bands with a retro sound. Bands we’ve seen who we’ve enjoyed recently include Mystery Action, Nylon 9, and Jimmy Amnesia. Goldwater are great and probably our favourite from the local area and we were chuffed to DJ at their Halloween party last year – (which reminds us –we are open to DJ offers!) Any bands who want to get in touch please do as we do listen to everything, however we only book bands who have an affinity to the records we play otherwise the night can become disjointed.
When is the next event, how much are tickets and where can people find out more?
We return to Duffys on Saturday 6th April.
Entry is free.
We’re also doing a night as part of the Revive Festival on 29th June at Firebug.
MORE MUSIC NEWS NEXT WEEK
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