About

Bands

Starting a new rock band

New bands starting up

[Originally published on Arts in Leicester magazine 17th August 2014

How do bands cope with the pressure of starting up?

Watching a new band playing on stage for the first time, I asked myself ‘how do they cope with playing at their first gig?’

When you watch a band playing on a stage, you are looking to see how they appear – are they relaxed and confident or are they nervous? Are they enjoying being in front of people, playing their own music? Some new bands look like rabbits caught in the headlights. As a writer my task is to observe musicians intently and try to feel what they are feeling. In a way, this is about trying to empathise with them. I watch for the signs: what do I see on their faces? Do I see excitement or fear? Or both? Do I see a bunch of guys who are confident, relaxed, exited? Or, do I see a group of people who are nervous, fearful, worried? Being under pressure does not mean that they will make mistakes or play badly. When they get on a stage and lights go up the adrenaline kicks in. They probably can’t see the audience in the glare of the stage lighting. Their hearts start to beat twice as fast; their minds start to work at a furious pace. They have a lot to concentrate on, whether it’s singing, remembering the lyrics, remembering the tunes they have composed, watching the strings of their instruments to see where their fingers should go. Determination sets in. It might not be until the last couple of songs, of their half-hour set,  that they really get into the swing of the music.

You can tell when a band really wants it. Their faces and the way they perform on stage show how their ambition is burning. They want to be successful. They want their fans to love them, they want to win over people who have not seen them before, they want to leave the room with adulation and their reputation secured. They want to play a set which is going to mark them out and make a name for their music on the scene. If they are to win over audiences, they have to really want it. They have to win over the sceptical and the curious. People who might be hard to convince. People that are not there to see them. These are people who are watching closely to see what this new band is made of.so when they start to play they all have to say to themselves ‘let’s ‘av it.’

How do young, inexperienced musicians cope with that kind of pressure, at the start of a music career as a performing band? Can they get to that level of stage craft where they can portray themselves as a strong, confident, determined group of people who believe in themselves and their music? How do they do that? Maybe that is not what they are actually feeling on the inside, but what do we see on their faces? As a group of people, do they all share the same level of commitment? Do they want it, individually and collectively? Are they really ready to make the sacrifices needed to become a serious band?

When you watch a band performing on stage, it is not always easy to tell what is going on their minds. Some musicians have a knack of smiling and looking happy, whatever they are really like on the inside. Do they look like they are just playing another gig or is this a special event for them? Are they feeling the crowd and are they getting that buzz, that reaction,  that is flowing on to the stage? The older a band gets in its musical career, the more difficult it is to see what they are feeling. Mature musicians tend to get used to live performances (just another gig) and have a professional manner that hides anything going on inside. If something goes wrong,  they joke about it and carry on. It’s just what happens to bands. It comes with the job. They appear as polished professionals, doing a job, well rehearsed, steadily working away at their chosen craft. Some young bands can also look like this.

You can never really tell what’s happening on a stage. You might be able to watch carefully and write about it in such a way as to convey (to readers) what it was like to be there. But all gigs have layers of experience, seams of reality, and you can never really report everything. Fifty people might go and see a band; they will take home with them fifty different reactions and experiences.

(Written at a festival in July between gig slots)

Music

Home page of the music section

This is the home page for the

Music section

16th October 2018

This section will contain articles written about music in the city of Leicester and county of Leicestershire (in the UK.)  This material was previously published on the old Arts in Leicester magazine.

There will also be a series of postings about the History of Music in Leicester. This was an ambitious project to plot popular music in the city from Roman times to the present day (2016)

Music on Arts in Leicester magazine

Music formed an important part of the arts coverage of the magazine, ever since it started in 2005. Most of the music covered was rock and pop although we did sometimes also review classical music. Towards the end of the magazine’s period of publication, over half the entirue content was about music. It was for that reason we decided to split the music content off to a separate website – which still exists – Music in Leicester.

This is what the home page of the music section looked like in 2012.  (requires PDF reader.)

Music section home page

(NB. Even if your browser does show the links in this PDF, please not NOT click on them becuase they are no longer valid. The PDF is an archive document from 2012.)

As you will see from the image, there were many genres of music, each of which had its own landing-page, and these were indicated by logos.

Look at the boxes outlined in red borders. They list pretty much all of the pages in the music section.

The arts website also set out to list every known band in Leicester and Leicestershire that existed at the time. Over 400 working bands had been identified (within the area) oveer 2012 to 2013. Many of them also had their own pages on the website. If any band performed in the city or county, the chances are that the arts magazine reviewed them.

A note about method

The problem facing me in compiling this archieve is that the original Arts in Leicester website had written in HTML code. That means it cannot simply be copied to this WordPress blog either as a whole or in part. At present, the only method I can find of replicating pages is to print PDF files of them. It was much later in the magazine’s existence, that it was converted to the WordPress CMS format.

Articles forming part of the Music Section of this magazine

The problem of starting a new band.

New tracks and records from Leicester bands in 2011.

Leicester rock bands of 2013.

See also:

The home page of the History of Music in Leicester.

Dance

Archive of pages concerned with dance and dancing

Dance in Leicester for 2012 and 2013

This is the home page for the dance section

This page is all about the art of dance and dancing and dancers in Leicester and the East Midlands.

The link below opens a PDF file in a new browser window

Dance in Leicester 2012 and 2013

This page reports on various forms of dance in Leicester in 2012 and 2013

The PDF document will show links but few of these will be likely to work.

News about dance from 2010 (requyires PDFS reader. Links are no longer valid)

Dance and dancers in Leicester 2010

News about dance from 2011

News about dance in Leicester for 2011

See also:

Music home page.

 

Curating

Curating this magazine

11th october 2018

This website is about curating the past. When I closed down Arts in Leicester magazine, I must have thought something like ‘been there. Done that.’

Some three years later I looked back at my work, the hundreds of articles I wrote for my arts magazine. I thought about the value of some of that work and its loss to the Internet. The wider public.

That is why I started this website. Why I have been collecting and putting back, online, some of the articles originalkly published on the Arts in Leicester site.

Many of those articles were part of my corpus de litterarum operibus. The body of literature that represents my life’s work, as an author. Now that this site is fully active I am working through the archives of the old magazine, looking for articles that have not yet been uploaded.

Trevor Locke

Contents

Contents index to this website

Please note

Because this is an archive, links to external websites might not work. They were valid at the time they were published but today might no longer exist

See our other website for contemporary coverage of the Music Scene in Leicester.

8th October 2018

alphabetical index of pages and posts on this website3

2011. Writers and literature of Leicester (archive page)

2012.

About this website

American Idiot theatre review 2016.

Architecture section.

Art Education in Leicester, history of.

Band Promotion, 2009.

Bands of Leicester and Leicestershire.

Blood Brothers review 2014.

City of the future.

City of Gods.

Contact (how to contact the publishers of this website)

Cosmopolitan carnival 2016.

Curating the old content.

Dance in Leicester.

Front page of the magazine in 2013.

Halls and hotels.

Historic buildings from Roman times to 1800.

History of popular music in Leicester (home page).

The king is laid to rest (RichardIII interment) 2015.

King Richard III.

Literature in Leicester, 2011 (Archive page)

Lords of the Flies review 2016

Michael Barker, Leicester artist 2015.

Modern architecture of Leicester.

Music. The home page of the music section.

New bands starting up, 2014

New tracks from Leicester bands

Our Day Out theatre review 2016.

Pinafore theatre review 2016.

Rent (the musical) theatre review 2014.

Singers of 2011.

The site started (about when the website began)

 

 

 

Site started

10th October 2017

I started this website blog today. My plan is to publish all the articles that were previously published on the magazine that I edited called – Arts in Leicester.

The articles that appear on this blogsite have all previously been published in the online magazine called Arts in Leicestershire. The magazine was closed and taken offline in 2016. All the content was stored in an archive.

See my page on Facebook

The domain name artsinleicester.co.uk now resolves to this site (11/10/18)