Welcome to this week’s Cool As Leicester Weekly Music News, which is brought to you every week in partnership with PPL PRS Ltd. Stay in the know and be the first in line. Every week.



Shy FX & Stamina MC – O2 Academy
Saturday 1 February

After their biggest event ever, Beastwang are keeping the levels high with drum & bass legends, Shy FX and Stamina MC, plus a huge line-up of DJs back at the O2 Academy. TICKETS.

Go West and Paul Young – De Montfort Hall
Tuesday 15 September

Don’t miss the ultimate 80s nostalgia night with Go West and Paul Young, as they announce a new tour date at De Montfort Hall on Tuesday 15 September! TICKETS.

Broken Witt Rebels – O2 Academy Leicester
Friday 27 March

broken Witt rebels

In support of their new album ‘O.K Hotel’ the Broken Witt Rebels are coming to the O2 Academy Leicester as part of their headline tour next March. TICKETS.

Temples – O2 Academy Leicester
Wednesday 4 March

In support of their new album ‘Hot Motion’, Kettering’s Psychedelia outfit Temples return to the o2 Academy Leicester in March. TICKETS.

Feeder – O2 Academy
Saturday 25 April 2020

feeder leicester 2020

Since they began in 1992, Newport’s Welsh rockers Feeder have sold millions of records. Always exhilarating, always celebratory, singles like ‘Just The Way I’m Feeling’, ‘Buck Rogers’ ‘Feeling A Moment’ and ‘Lost And Found’ are just some of the huge number of hits the band have enjoyed over the years. There have been various line-up changes along the way, but Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose remain the force to keep feeding their music hungry fans. Tickets on sale on Friday.



Open Mic – The Soundhouse
Tuesday 10 December (and every Tuesday)

the soundhouse Leicester

The weekly open mic happens at The Soundhouse every Tuesday night from 7.30pm. The night is hosted by Rhett Barrow and acts are encouraged to arrive early if hoping to get a slot. Each week there’ll be a featured artist play from 9.30 – 10pm, so if you’re wanting to play a longer set then get your name down. Discover some brilliant new acts. The Soundhouse is on Southampton Street in the Cultural Quarter.

Titanic Jazz Band – The Donkey
Tuesday 10 December

the donkey

The Titanic Jazz Band play their own mix of Trad Jazz and hot Swing Jazz every Tuesday lunchtime (12.30 – 3pm). The band personnel varies from a 6 piece to an 8 or 9 piece big band. All of the musicians play in various other bands and bring their own styles of playing to the band. Guest musicians and singers often join the band onstage and is actively encouraged!

Neon Waltz x Sisterbliss – The Cookie
Wednesday 11 December

Neon Waltz are a powerful six-piece psychedelic indie rock band who honed their melodic, sun-drenched, sonic soundscapes in a remote croft, located in the wilderness of Caithness, Scotland. With their first set of demos drawing the interest of former Oasis Manager Marcus Russell, Neon Waltz went on to be named one of the finest new British bands of the year by the likes of Q, NME (“Scotland’s coolest new gang”) and Shortlist to name a few. TICKETS.

Ultimate Petula + Parisian Swing Band – The Musician
Tuesday 10 December

Ultimate Petula are an authentic and stunning tribute to a legend of British music Petula Clark. Featuring songs such as ‘Downtown’, ‘Don’t sleep in the Subway’, This is my Song’ and many more.  Parisian Swing Band play music in the French style. Expect “Le Jazz Hot” and “style et ambiance Française”. Featuring accordion, vocals, guitar, drums and violin, and popular songs and jazz classics of the 1930s to the 1960s” TICKETS

Joni, Sandy & Me – The Musician
Wednesday 11 December

Singer/Songwriter Sally Barker, Tom Jones’ Finalist in The Voice, presents an afternoon of songs by Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell. Local singer Sally has thrilled audiences for aeons, reducing Tom Jones to tears with her version of Nina Simone’s ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’ in the Blind Auditions of The Voice 2014. TICKETS

The Telescopes – The Soundhouse
Wednesday 11 December

Conceived in 1987, The Telescopes emerged as innovators in the field of melodic noise, space rock, dream pop and psychedelic rock – drawing inspiration from artists such as The Velvet Underground, Suicide and the 13th Floor Elevators. Support comes from Echolocation and Vietnam Flashbacks. TICKETS.

CHILDCARE – The Cookie
Thursday 12 December

Enthused with the energy of punk, the infectiousness of The Police and a by-numbers approach to songcraft akin to Happiness In Magazines – era Graham Coxon, CHILDCARE are a band on the up, making skewed, idiosyncratic, art-punk pop that is gaining them eager fans across the continent. Having recently sold out Omeara and releasing two critically acclaimed EPs with extensive BBC Radio 1 support and wide-spread blog coverage from the likes of Indie Shuffle and The Line of Best Fit, CHILDCARE will be babysitting their way onto a stereo near you in the future. TICKETS

Christmas with – Next Year plus Last Edition, Slackrr and We Give In – The Musician
Thursday 12 December

last edition leicester

Kick off your festive season with some Pop Punk and Ska Punk! Expect some Christmas tunes, Santa Hats and all the mince pies you can dream of. TICKETS

Universal Rap Jam – 2Funky Music Café
Thursday 12 December

EAVA FM & 2Funky Music Cafe presents… UNIVERSAL RAP JAM featuring Freek AKA “Godfather” from Abu Dhabi (UAE), showcasing world rap 2Funky Music Café.

The Status Trio – The Donkey
Thursday 12 December

the donkey

The Donkey’s monthly ‘2nd Thursday of the month’ jazz fix by The Status Trio. If this was in London Soho or New York’s Greenwich Village you’d pay a fortune! 3 of Leicester’s finest musicians making some cool jazz improvisations with guest musicians. It’s never the same twice but always of a high standard. A great night for hardcore jazz heads as well as people that just appreciate great music. Guest slots every week from musicians in the audience. But you have to be good! Featuring Mike Sole – Keyboards, Neil Segrot – Bass, Dave Anderson – drums.

SoulJam / Return of the Disco – Dryden Street SociaL
Thursday 12 December

In a disco far, far away……’‘ SoulJam are heading back to Leicester for a night of intergalactic boogie fun with you all at Dryden Street Social! Leave your worries and your ego’s at home, come on down and join us all night long under the disco ball! TICKETS

WU-LU – The Cookie
Friday 13 December

The Cookie presents Wu-Lu + Son Of + Alice Kübe Music +  Tony Minvielle (DJ set). Clash – ‘Jazz but not ‘jazz’, hip-hop but not ‘hip-hop’, WU-LU accepts elements from all corners, while continually providing something new. TICKETS 

LOST Leicester – Dryden Street Social
Friday 13 December

Fresh off our UK tour LOST are heading to town to bring the party to Dryden Street Social. LOST provides an energetic blend of house, tech & disco inside uniquely themed venues. TICKETS

The Glory and The Docs – The Donkey
Friday 13 December

The Glory – Leicester Oi!/Punk Band. That Old School Sound with A Touch Of Rock ‘N’ Roll!! The DOCs – PUNK ROCK n ROLL Delivering in Your Face, Kick-Ass Music!

Glastonbudget Auditions – The Soundhouse 
Friday 13 December

the soundhouse Leicester

Enjoy a number of great acts competing for their chance to book a slot at Glastonbudget 2020. Expect original material and some awesome covers. £5 on the door.

Mama Don’t Allow – The Grand Union
Friday 13 December

Kick start your festive weekend with the best hits from the 60s, 70s and 80s performed live at The Grand Union. Free entry. From 7pm.

Soeur and Deux Furieuses – Firebug
Friday 13 December

Sœur ​are a brutal, soulful assault on the senses. Hailing from Bristol, the three piece are bound together through experience and appreciation of British alternative music. They are an unstoppable live force, with their incendiary live shows selling out in dive bars and clubs across their native South West. They’re joined by Deux Furieuses, formed of Scottish vocalist and guitarist Ros Cairney and London Greek drummer Vas Antoniadou, and recently signed to Xtra Mile Recordings. TICKETS

Real Magic The Ultimate Queen Tribute – The Haymarket Theatre
Friday 13 December

real magic queen

Be part of the festive action with music, bars and street food vendors making sure your Christmas party season goes with a bang! This Friday Real Magic will be headlining the ultimate Christmas party with all of your favourite Queen hits. The Queen Tribute will be followed by a chance to dance the night away to music from Funktion Junction party band. TICKETS.

The Noise – Natterjacks
Friday 13 December


Get your party started with The Noise playing all your favourite tracks live. Bring your dancing shoes. Free entry.

Manoeuvres – The Musician
Friday 13 December

Manoeuvres are the premier tribute to OMD – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – one of the most influential and original bands to emerge from the early days of synth pop in the lates 1970’s. Their energetic and authentic stage show perfectly captures the atmosphere and excitement of an OMD concert and by playing all of their hit songs such as ‘Enola Gay’ ‘Messages’ and ‘Souvenir’ to name but a few, MANOEUVRES will leave you with lasting memories of a captivating and unique show that you will want to see again and again! TICKETS

Izzy Sparkz Band – O’Neills
Friday 13 December

Get ready for all the hits of Amy Winehouse, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross and plenty more. Free entry.

Aitch – o2 Academy
Friday 13 December

Having sold out his initial run of dates in minutes, Manchester rapper, Aitch, has extended his Aitch20Tour due to high demand. Hotly tipped as one of 1Xtra’s Hot for 2019 artists and anticipated to have a massive 2020, Aitch’s skippy flow and crafty lyrics have made him stand out from other rappers on the scene and he’s solidified his status as one of the most exciting new artists with his infectious single, ‘Taste (Make It Shake)’. SOLD OUT

Simon ‘Honeyboy’ Hickling – The Musician
Saturday 14 December

A world-class musician, Simon ‘Honeyboy’ Hickling is a blues harmonica ace with a hard earned and well-deserved international reputation. His subtle and fabulously expressive playing is grounded firmly in the ‘50s and ‘60s heyday of the Chicago and Gulf Coast styles of playing. With a tremendously experienced band backing him, Simon never fails to deliver anything less than a first-rate evenings entertainment and never lets good taste and soulfulness stifle a rockin’ night out. TICKETS

Buble meets Sinatra – The Donkey
Saturday 14 December

Imagine if Sinatra and Buble had performed together on one stage…well you need not imagine anymore as experienced Frank Sinatra tribute Morgan Perkins is joined by crooner Gareth John. Expect to hear all the great hits from both singers and after last year’s sell out hit Xmas show at The Donkey, you need to be in your seat nice and early for this one!

The Clone Roses + Kazabian – o2 Academy
Saturday 14 December

The Clone Roses and Kazabian, are two of the best tribute acts around and they’re teaming up this December for a string of live performances. TICKETS

Resin Christmas Party – Firebug
Saturday 14 December

Celebrate another year of great rock and metal. The Hostile Allstars will finish off the tonight with some awesome covers. £5, from 7pm.

Santa & Hounds – The Soundhouse
Saturday 14 December

Santa dogs leicester

From 1pm – 4.30pm on Saturday it’s time for your furry pal to get their chance to meet Santa. Enjoy live music, seasonal drinks and munchies and the chance for your dog to meet Santa in The Soundhouse’s own pub grotto. A grotto for dogs… in a pub. Does it get any better? Entry is free and you can reserve your spot for your dog to meet Santa online. TICKETS

Andrea Kenny – 33 Cank Street
Saturday 14 December

Cank Street Live continues this weekend with Andrea Kenny, lead singer of The Brandy Thieves performing for you as well as weekly hosts, The Versions. Table bookings advised!

Swagger – O’Neills
Saturday 14 December

Keep yourselves in the party mood through the weekend with Swagger performing live on Saturday night. Expect plenty of your favourites! Free entry.

Double Yellers – The Donkey
Sunday 15 December

The Double Yellers perform the finest hits of the 50’s and 60’s in traditional style, faithfully reproducing the lush 3 part harmonies and jangling guitars synonomous with the 60’s pop beat bands. The Double Yellers play an eclectic mix of rock, rhythm and blues, surf and pop tunes that audiences of all ages will be singing along with. Expect to hear hits from the likes of The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Monkeys plus many more you’ll know and love.

AC/DC UK – The Musician
Sunday 15 December

ac dc uk

Having spent the last several years touring the UK and Europe, AC/DC UK have established themselves as one of the finest tribute acts around. AC/DC UK put on a show that will blow you away! Covering every era from 1976’s High Voltage, up to 2008’s Black Ice, you will hear all the hits! From Thunderstruck to Back In Black, Highway to Hell to Dirty Deeds, and every other classic track that launched AC/DC to legendary status. TICKETS

Open Mic – The Old Horse
Sunday 15 December

Rhett Barrow is this month’s feature act at The Old Horse Open Mic night. Free entry, from 8pm. Head down for 7.30pm if you want to grab a slot to perform.

Boris – The Y Theatre
Sunday 15 December

Japanese experimentalists Boris head to Leicester for a special show at Leicester’s Y Theatre, as part of The Robot Needs Home Collective’s 10th anniversary shows. Support comes from Arabrot
“All of the panoramas the band has crafted over the past two decades – stoner rock, shoegaze, ambient, pop – have coalesced into one massive, smoldering landscape.” – Pitchfork. TICKETS.

Drinks & Jams – The Shed
Monday 16 December

drinks jams

Every Monday it’s open mic night at The Shed as they host Drinks & Jams. It kicks off at 7.30pm but you can arrive from 7pm to sign up to play. Each week there is a featured act on at 9.15pm. Friendly atmosphere, drinks offers and a great way to start the week.



Pop Will Eat Itself plus special guests Cud – O2 Academy Leicester
Friday 20 December

Following on from Love From Stourbridge 2019, Pop Will Eat Itself will perform their seminal album, This Is The Day… This Is The Hour… This Is This, in full, for the final time. TICKETS

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly – Firebug
Tuesday 17 December

Get Cape Wear Cape Fly will be at Firebug in December for a headline slot in the series of shows supporting the Robot Needs Home Collective’s 15th birthday. Aka Sam Duckworth, the Southend troubadour released his 10th album last year. Support from Charlotte Carpenter. TICKETS.

Fleetwood Bac Performing ‘Rumours’ – O2 Academy
Saturday 12 September 2020

Fleetwood Bac perform the album Rumours in it’s entirety. TICKETS


Robot Needs Home celebrate 15 years with series of special gigs

Olafur Arnalds credit Oliver Bellamy

Few people know the Leicester music scene better than John Helps. From city-wide gig promotions and setting up Handmade Festival to launching Great Central, he’s had a hand in a number of the city’s leading collaborative music and arts projects.

This year his company, The Robot Needs Home Collective, celebrates 15 years of gig promotion, tour management, record label services and more. To mark the occasion they’re putting on a number of special gigs including a birthday show at The Cookie on Saturday 21 December, which will see performances from acts including These Furrows, Speaking in Italics and Waking Aida.

We caught up with John to find out about his plans to celebrate 15 years and how the DIY music landscape has changed.

The Robot Needs Home Collective turns 15 years old this year, did you image when you started out that you’d be here celebrating 15 years later?

Absolutely not! It was a project I started at uni to put on my own band and friends bands. Even the name was a throwaway idea that we came up with in two minutes. It is endlessly surprising and pleasing that I’m still able to do it now. It’s grown beyond anything I imagined and is now a (more than) full time job. Wish I’d spent a bit more time on the name though.

The collective includes promotion, touring services, a record label and more; what have been some of your personal highlights from the last 15 years?

Putting Foals on at The Luminaire in London was an early landmark, but obviously we didn’t know they’d go on to be the band they are today. This year we put Olafur Arnalds, the Icelandic composer of the Broadchurch soundtrack on in Haymarket Theatre to a near sold out audience and that was the real pinnacle of what we’ve been trying to do with bringing interesting and spectacular shows to Leicester. I just like putting music that takes you a little out of your comfort zone in front of people. The reward when it really touches people is huge.

On the touring side of things, getting to travel across five continents with some of the loveliest bands in the world (and some not so lovely ones) has been super rewarding. Getting to join Leicester’s own Grace Petrie for shows supporting Frank Turner at Alexandra Palace was a recent highlight.

John helps leicester

To celebrate the 15 years you have a series of gigs taking place at venues across Leicester, including Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Nordic Giants and Kelly Moran to name a few. How did you set about programming for the birthday events?

We’re doing some of our regular shows through until November – a series of piano shows including Kelly Moran, Lambert and David Allred through October as well as a handful of others – but December is when the 15th Anniversary shows really get going with a couple of weeks of near solid shows from friends old and new across the whole spectrum of what we’ve been bringing to the city over the 15 years. Some things fell in to place by coincidence – Japanese experimentalists Boris are a band we’ve been trying to bring to the city for a long time and it just kind of fell in to place. Around that we’ve gone back to some friends of ours that we’ve been working with for years, and some others that we’ve been wanting to put on for a while. It’s a bit of everything really.

You’ve been very active in promoting the DIY scene in Leicester, what advice would you offer to other promoters starting out?

Be prepared to lose a lot of money. Leicester is a really hard city to bring acts to as the audience is disproportionately small, and if you’re not specifically catering to mass market audiences, you’re going to have a hard time. There is a dwindling set of tools to help with promoting events and reaching new audiences in the city. We’ve worked hard to build a ‘brand’ around the shows, so some people will come and check out some of the acts we bring to the city just because our name is attached – and that’s really important when you’re bringing a large number of essentially unknown names to the city. The most important thing is to put audiences and artists first. Make people feel welcome and looked after and they’ll keep coming back.

Reaching a milestone birthday, what are some of the main changes you’ve seen in the Leicester music scene during that time?

We’ve seen venues come and go and people scream that their closure meant the end of the music scene (spoiler alert: it didn’t). We’ve seen people demand an arena when we can’t fill the venues we do have. We’ve seen peaks and troughs of interesting music being created in the city (I like to think it’s creatively peaking at the moment with a brilliant scene of DIY bands, but that definitely hasn’t always been the case). Everything’s a cycle really.

robot needs home collective

How positive do you feel about the future of the city’s scene?

Neither optimistic nor pessimistic really. We have a handful of acts making a national impact, across a broad spectrum of music – Mahalia, Grace Petrie and Easy Life to name three, and a really vibrant DIY scene. We also have an underfunded city council who can’t prioritise supporting local music and creativity, and fragmented efforts to create large scale music events. A little more collaboration and unity is needed to “put leicester back on the musical map”. Something I’ve heard people saying endlessly over the last 15 years. I feel like collaboration is something Robot Needs Home has been good at fostering – bringing people together to create Handmade and Great Central and numerous other things over the years.

Do you have any artists still very much on the RNH wishlist?

We always have a list as long as our arm, but it’s hard to single anyone out really!

Once the 15th birthday celebrations are over and we head into 2020, what does RNH have planned for next year?

We’re actually going to be taking a bit of a step back from promoting shows. Our touring work is keeping me very busy and it’s time to prioritise that I think. We’ll still do a few major events, and support the acts that we ‘look after’ from within Leicester and beyond, but you’ll definitely be seeing less of us in Leicester for sure. Although I have said this maybe 30 times over the 15 years so we’ll see.

To keep up to date with all of the latest news and events from The Robot Needs Home Collective, including their 15th birthday party on Saturday 21 December, you can visit www.robotneedshome.com and follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

Tickets for the birthday party gig on Saturday 21 December are on sale from Gigantic.


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