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.



Leicester Artists Relief for Australia – Various venues
Sunday 22 March

Leicester artists are uniting to raise funds for 2 independent sanctuaries that were devastated by the recent fires in Australia, Goongerah Wombat Orphanage and Cobargo Wildlife Sanctuary. Artists including Uncle Frank, Jersey Budd, The Whiskey Rebellion, Elysian and more will be performing across Firebug, Duffy’s, The Soundhouse, The Cookie and The Music Cafe with wristbands for all venues just £15. TICKETS.

Blossoms – O2 Academy 
Thursday 9 July

Psyche-pop riffs, vocal melodies, a film noir meets 60s aesthetic, a range of audible references from Arctic Monkeys via Abba to The Doors – Blossoms are Stockport’s finest musical export. They’re here for a festival warm up show. TICKETS.

Leddra Chapman – The Cookie
Thursday 26 March

With a quintessentially English voice which is both pure and unique, and soulful and honest lyrics that come straight from the heart, Leddra is one of Britain’s most gifted songwriters. She’s celebrating the 10 year anniversary of her debut album with a few special shows. TICKETS.

Bambara – The Cookie
Saturday 15 August

This Brooklyn-via-Georgia based noise/punk band with a dark, Western slant have enjoyed support slots with Idles and Daughters and have become a most sought after live act. Bambara have always been adept students of noise and post-punk, but with 2018 album, Shadow on Everything, they transcended their early influences to produce a Western Gothic concept album that sounds as big as the desert sky looming over its characters’ lives. Joe Talbot of Idles even labelled it as the best thing he heard in 2018. TICKETS.

The Futureheads – O2 Academy
Friday 24 April

Sunderland-based playing guitar-led post punk, after a hiatus in 2012, the band announced their return in 2019 with new material along with a promise of returning to their classics including ‘Decent Days And Nights’ and their UK top 10 cover of Kate Bush’s ‘Hounds Of Love’. TICKETS.



Open Mic – The Soundhouse
Tuesday 11 February (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

Acoustic Tuesdays – The Black Horse (Blaby)
Tuesday 11 February (and every Tuesday)

Every Tuesday at 8.30pm a friendly group of music lovers meet in the bar, to play, sing or just to listen to an informal acoustic session. FREE ENTRY.

Musical Jam – Deacon Street Arts
Wednesday 12 February

Think Bonobo: Deacon Street Arts will be creating a soundscape for an hour and exploring music. It’s a great place to chill out, learn new techniques and make great contacts in Leicester’s thriving music scene. Free entry.

Slackrr – The Shed
Wednesday 12 February

Southampton pop-punk trio, Slackrr, head to The Shed for a headline show. They have supported the likes of Sonic Boom Six, Press To Meco, Spunge and more. TICKETS.

Kent DuChaine – The Musician
Wednesday 12 February

One of the best blues slide guitarists around accompanied by his legendary 1934 National steel guitar; Ledbessie. “There are few musicians who can captivate a room of people with nothing but a guitar and the blues to the level that Kent Duchaine does”. “His ability to immerse his audience into his world, his life and his heart is unrivalled” – Blues In Britain Magazine. TICKETS.

Drinks & Jams – The Shed
Thursday 13 February

drinks jams

Every Thursday 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.

Footwerk – Apres Lounge
Thursday 13 February

A night all things Disco/House and Techno every Thursday with some of the best up and coming DJs Leicester has to offer along with amazing drinks deals.

One Night in Dublin – Haymarket Theatre
Thursday 13 February

A celebration of the music and song of Ireland! Come and join in the craic as this award winning seven piece Irish band covers songs by The Pogues, The Dubliners, The Saw Doctors, Daniel O’ Donnel, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Van Morrison and many more, in their own unique and upbeat style. TICKETS.

Dizzy Lizzy – The Musician
Friday 14 February

Able to recite 70s Irish rocker heroes Thin Lizzy’s brilliance with an uncanny ease, Dizzy Lizzy have played as far a field as Los Angeles to Dubai. “These guys are the closest to playing my son’s music” – Phillomena Lynott. TICKETS.

Reggae Night – Natterjacks
Friday 14 February


Live Fridays Valentines Special with Tanni Browne performing the greatest hits from the one and only Bob Marley plus DJ Martin Co playing reggae , dancehall and r&b anthems to keep you dancing through the night. 2 for 1 cocktails 8-11pm and free entry all night.

The Anthemics – Queen of Bradgate
Friday 14 February

Party into the weekend with The Anthemics playing covers of all your favourite hits. Free entry and music from 8.30pm.

Neck – Duffy’s Bar
Friday 14 February

‘The Psycho-Ceilídh band!’, 6-piece Celtic Punk band Neck distil the sound of two other mighty London rebel bands, The Clash & The Pogues. In the process they juxtapose perfectly the vibrant, uplifting swirl and spiritual abandon of authentic traditional Irish music with the attitude, social awareness and full-on, electric energy blast of punk rock! TICKETS.

Ditz – The Soundhouse
Friday 14 February

With their sound firmly rooted in the Brighton hardcore scene, DITZ make neurotic angular thrash punk that pulls you into its paranoid drama. The quintet have garnered a reputation for their wild energetic shows, playing alongside other excellent acts such as LICE and Pulled Apart By Horses. TICKETS.

Live Music Between The Comedy – The Shed
Saturday 15 February

the shed Leicester

Just The Tonic have taken over the Vault stage at The Shed with a brilliant programme of comedy, but in between that there’s some free live music taking place in the main bar. Grab a seat and enjoy some acoustic fun, then pop down to watch the comedy if you fancy it too! Win win. Entry to the main bar is free. Most comedy shows are Pay What You Want or £5.

Kirk Brandon – Duffy’s Bar
Saturday 15 February

Kirk Brandon is an English musician best known as the leader of the bands Theatre of Hate and Spear of Destiny & Dead Men Walking. TICKETS.

Fairport Convention – Haymarket Theatre
Saturday 15 February

Fairport Convention have been entertaining music lovers for over half a century. During that time the band that launched British folk-rock has seen many changes. But one thing has remained the same – Fairport’s passion for performance. This year’s Winter Tour concert will present a mix of long-established Fairport favourites and some surprises from albums old and new including Full House which was released 50 years ago this year. The band skilfully interprets traditional ballads and the repertoire also includes plenty of contemporary compositions. TICKETS.

RockSka Live – The Barley Mow
Saturday 15 February

RockSka are one of Leicester’s busiest bands playing a mixture of Ska, Two Tone, Mod, Rock & Soul, from Madness to The Jam, From The Police to The Specials and much more!

Glastonbudget Auditions – The Soundhouse 
Saturday 15 February

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.

Bootleg Boss – The Musician
Saturday 15 February

The Bootleg Boss is the real deal. A Springsteen fan for 25 years, he has lived and breathed the spirit of the New Jersey landscape and developed an amazing way of delivering the classic hits of the Boss. Expect a three hour show with his own East Street Band of seasoned musicians, creating an authentic sound and live experience. TICKETS.

Groove & The Bathtub Pings – The Donkey
Saturday 15 February

Groove & The Bathtub Pings are a 7 piece Funk/Soul/Motown/Disco/all round bangers band from here in Leicester. Their infectious groove and brassy riffs are sure to get the floor filled and your feet tapping.

Little Triggers & Sweet Crises – The Musician
Sunday 16 February

When Little Triggers first hit the UK scene in 2016 they instantly brought with them a revived feeling that guitar music still has something to offer. Amid a musical landscape awash with pristine pop and lightweight indie rock, the Merseyside four-piece offered hope for something fresh, original, but more importantly, for something that was bold and brash. TICKETS.

Carly Smallman – The Cookie
Sunday 16 February

Carly returns to Leicester with a brand new musical comedy show about the dickheads she has loved, lost and laughed at. They say the best way to get over someone is to get under someone new, but sometimes the best way to get over someone is to sing songs about their personal life and tell strangers about dick pics they sent. Be those strangers for a silly, side-splitting hour of Sunday shenanigans.“Smutty outspoken jollity” – The Sun. TICKETS.

Open Mic – The Real Ale Classroom
Sunday 16 February

real ale classroom

From 3pm head over to The Real Ale Classroom in Stoneygate for their open mic session. All performers get a free drink and there’s £20 for the winners. Free entry.

Monday Music Club – The Black Horse (Braunstone Gate)
Monday 17 February

Every Monday from 9pm join acoustic musicians so rock up and play.



Jon Boden – Y Theatre
Friday 6 March

jon boden press 2019

Jon Boden is best known is the lead singer of the progressive folk juggernaut Bellowhead who sold 250,000 album, had seven singles playlisted on Radio 2 and sold out hundreds venues including The Royal Albert Hall.  Since Bellowhead split up in 2016 Jon has continued his development as one of the foremost names in English folk music. TICKETS.

Circa Waves – O2 Academy
Tuesday 31 March

Known for their nervy, melodic indie rock,  Circa Waves first gained buzz in the 2010’s with hooky singles like ‘Get Away’ and ‘Stuck in My Teeth’. Centered on lead singer/songwriter Kieran Shudall, the Liverpudlians earned favourable comparisons to the Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, and the Vaccines. They’re touring in support of their brand new album ‘Sad Happy’. TICKETS.

Little Mix – Leicestershire CCC
Friday 18 July

Pop superstars Little Mix are bringing their unmissable live show to Leicester next year. The world’s biggest girl band will perform to fans at the Fischer County Ground on Friday 18 July. TICKETS.



Interview: Irish star David Keenan brings debut album to Leicester

David Keenan is brining his tour to The Cookie next month. The young Irish star has been getting some rave-reviews for his debut album, “A Beginners Guide To Bravery”, which has just come out and the tour will be in Leicester on 10th March.

David’s got a talent for esoteric songs with an unusual turn of phrase and the record reflects on his childhood in Dundalk to travelling the world. His incredible voice has been drawing comparisons to Tim Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and Van Morrison. We caught up with him to find out more. 

How would you describe your music for anyone who isn’t familiar with your work?

One of the dreaded usual suspect questions that in order to answer, I must step outside of myself and speak in third person! And for my next trick…I’m trying to be honest in what I’m doing and what I’m saying in the work.

The sound has developed from just myself and a guitar and narrative, stream of consciousness, character invention and cathartic personal inventory songs, to being joined by different bodies and that makes the sound grow. People have said it has elements of Soul and Folk and Rock n Roll and Theatre and Poetry. They are all just words, boxes to be ticked by others. It’s ever changing, whether it’s me on my Tod or a troupe of Ten.

David Keenan leicester

Who have been some of your main inspirations?

Early influences, growing up in Ireland on the border listening to The Dubliners, Billie Holiday, Dylan, Nick Cave, Rocky Marciano and Roy Keane. Reading all the Beats and the Existentialists and being inspired to go out and smoke and explore life and write through pure experience.

These days I’m inspired by Artists who continue to add to their immensely diverse bodies of work and people and the world around me. Decency, realism and the seek.

What advice would you give to singers/artists who are starting out?

There’s been many great men & women who have left behind these vast vast collections of ideas and impressions of life for us to study and absorb. It’s a craft, it’s a beautiful graft that you need to grow into. I’d say just be brutally honest with yourself and don’t seek validation from your peers or the postman. Do it because it’s joy and medicine and because without it you would feel lost. 

Credit Nicolas O'Donnell

What can fans expect from your new tour?

Myself and Electricity, songs from the record and new songs that demand to be heard.

Your first album is out now, how has it been received so far?

Very warmly received, in Ireland it went to Number 1 in the Independent Charts and was the week’s biggest selling vinyl and I only mention that because it was as a result of people going out and picking up a physical copy and I’m grateful to them all. Reviews I hear have been kind but it’s dangerous to sit with the feet up, toasting your on brilliance or worse still feeling hard done by by a bad review. They are kissing cousins. I stay away.

If you could share a stage with anybody who would it be?

My Grandfather, 83 and still the best dressed Cat in town. 

What else is on the horizon for 2020?

A book of words is on the way, travel with the UK & European tour, songs to be released, who knows what will be revealed. I’m primed and willing.

David Keenan plays The Cookie on Tuesday 10 March. Tickets are on sale now.


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