History of Leicester Music

Archived article about history of music in Leicester from November 2017

20th November 2018

Previously published in Music in Leicester Magazine

Going to Gigs Round 11

Wednesday 15th November 2017
by Trevor Locke

In this issue: how the rise of the Internet changed the face of music.

I tried to figure out when I first used the Internet. As far as I can make out, it would have been in 1997. That was the year that I started my own web design business. It was before I got involved in Leicester’s live music scene. Around this time I got involved with the Internet service provider AOL (America On Line). I worked for them hosting live chat rooms. It was not until 2001 that I started to be involved in rock music. That was the year I went to my first ever rock festival – at Reading. I am sure there was a website for the Reading festival in that year. So, I can confidently say that by the early noughties, music has found its place on the Internet. In 2005 I launched my first website that included a substantial amount of content about music in Leicester. It was in February 2005 that I registered the domain name artsinleicestershire.co.uk and used it to publish an website concerned with the arts in general and music in particular.

The MP3 file format was introduced in 1993, although some sources trace the origins of the music audio file format back to 1991. However the first MP3 players did not really get going until 1997. As the Internet became widely available in Britain, people took to downloading music tracks and sharing them with their friends.

December 2010 I wrote this comment:

We are all passionate about live music. We want to see more people attending gigs because we believe it is a really great way to spend an evening. But how do we do it? One solution that is being delivered, is to print a monthly listing of gigs across all venues and distribute it as widely as possible. I support this. Even though I spend a lot of my working day pushing out information about gigs – on the Internet – I realise that there is still a proportion of the population who do not go on the ‘Net every day. Even if they do, they tend to use it just for e-mail and don’t spend time surfing the web sites and social media outlets where they could come across info about live music.

The key point from that was that, back then, it was widely realised that not everyone used the Internet on a daily basis and a significant proportion of people never used the world wide web on their computers – I say ‘computers’ because, even in 2010, mobile phones were not as widely used as the main device for web browsing as they are today.

People take to the Internet in large numbers

The growth of the Internet, from 2002 onwards, brought huge changes to the way that music was distributed. It also allowed bands to reach a wider audience through the world wide web. This period saw a huge growth in music festivals and live music venues. The advent of personalised music-playing devices, from the Walkman in the 1960s to the iPhone, allowed listening to become a personalised experience. By contrast, the rise of the big festivals, the raves and the construction of high-capacity arenas, brought back a social element to the experience of music, one not seen since the demise of the music halls in the early twentieth century.

One other thing, that the rise of mass Internet usage brought about, was the ability of bands, musicians and singers to publish their own music. This was challenging the industrial supremacy of the Record Labels. Mass broadband and the popularity of first Myspace and then Facebook, enabled the rise of the DIY artist, those who could record in their bedrooms and reach a market very cheaply, compared to the days when the production of gramophone records was prohibitively expensive for the group or individual. YouTube, ReverbNation and Soundcloud further aided the rise of the self-production of music.

In Leicester, as in many other cities and towns, the live music venues allowed bands and artists to put on their own gigs. This fuelled the growth in bands; it became unnecessary to be signed to a record label to achieve anything and for thousands of young men and women in Leicester, producing music for their fans became a realistic possibility. The age of the DIY music artist had begun. Hundreds of bedrooms became recording studios. Shops began to sell recording equipment; in Leicester, retail outlets like Maplins did a roaring trade in cheap microphones, amps and mixing devices. As laptops became increasingly affordable, musicians could download software and begin to mix and master their own work in a way that was impossible before.

Arts in Leicester magazine developed a timeline of music history, as part of its series of articles on the history of Leicester’s music.

The 1990s

Some general things that give the flavour of what happened in the 90s.

1991 – formation of the band Cornershop. Cornershop were formed by Tjinder Singh,his brother Avtar, (both of whom lived in Leicester at the time the band was formed), David Chambers and Ben Ayres. Their music is a fusion of Indian music, Britpop and electronic dance music.
1994 – Pink Box opens. Pink Box was set up as a hobby business by record collecting fans Sue and Chris Garland in 1994, not as a record label but to sell rock and indie records at record fairs around Central England. The name Pink Box coming from the record storage boxes. Frustrated by the lack of national coverage to bands from the East Midlands we decided to release a record on our own label [Pink Box Records]
1995 -The Abbey Park Show was axed in 1995, nearly 50 years after its inception.
1995 – Stayfree opens in Conduit Street. Before that they were in Friday Street.
1996 -The start of Takeover Radio.
1996 – Flat Five records set up by the Potts brothers in honour of their father the legendary jazz trumpeter Mick Potts.
1997 – the formation of Kasabian (previously known as Saracuse, reputed to have played under that name at The Shed.) The original band members were from the Leicestershire villages of Blaby and Countesthorpe. Kasabian have won major music awards and have been nominated 27 times to date. They are one of the biggest indie bands in the country.
1998 – formation of The Young Knives in Ashby-de-la-Zouch. Formed in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire,the band is known for its energetic live performances and trendy tweed outfits. They broke into the music industry in 2002.
1999 – Forerunner of Kasabian – Saracuse – plays at The Shed.
Kingsize formed in 1999…still going. First gig at the Royal Mail pub.

The noughties – bands and music

2000 – Alan Freeman’s account of bands in the 2000s.
2000 – Darren Nockles becomes a promoter at the Musician. Previously it was called The Bakers Arms.
2001 – the first Summer Sundae festival is held.
2001 – formation of Ist, a Leicester band signed to Pink Box Records.
June 2002 – Live rock music in the city centre. Music Live rocks in Leicester. More than 1,000 performers packed six stages across Leicester city centre this Bank Holiday.
2002 -The Abbey Park Festival, 2003 to 2005

With the birth of Myspace, every band and singer was able to have a presence on the Internet. Fans were able to befriend their favourite acts and original bands could distribute their recorded tracks free of charge or for a small price. Before the rise of Facebook, from 2004, Myspace was the dominant platform on the Internet.

2003 to 2005 – Myspace became the dominant international social networking platform.
Leicester bands were mainly on Myspace from 2003 to 2010, when Facebook began to replace Myspace as the Internet outlet of choice for the majority of bands and artists.
Leicester developed a live music economy as venues, bands and festivals began to grow. As the number of live music venues grew, adding to pubs and clubs as placed where live music could be performed, band and artists began to put on their own gigs.
2003 – Mosh night club opened.
September 2004 – Kasabian release their debut album, having started life as Saracuse, playing one of the first gigs at The Shed, in 2009. The Shed opened in 1994.

Music takes to the ‘net

The earliest websites made for bands in Leicester. Ictus was one of the first unsigned Leicester bands to have its own domain name and website.

2004 – March – maybeshewill.net registered.
2004 – The old Musician closed it’s doors for the last time on 31 December 2004. It re-opened in 2005.
2004 – Facebook founded. By 2009 it had become the most used social networking site on the planet. By the end of 2012 over half of the UK’s internet users had a Facebook account.
2004 – The first OBS (Original Bands Showcase).
2004 – Ainleys record store closed. Wayne Allen was the manager of the store between 1983 and 2001. It was situated opposite the Clock Tower. He is credited with bringing some of the biggest names in music to the Leicester store, including Englebert Humperdinck, Radiohead, Del Amitri, St Etienne, Stereophonics, Shed Seven and Bananarama. He died in 2012.

Several other record shops in the centre of Leicester are remembered, including Back Track Records and Boogaloo, and in current times HMV, 2 Funky and Rockaboom records. People remember Revolver Records, Cank Street Records, Virgin records, BPM, Archers, Reef, Chakademas, Pliers, MVC, Village Square, A G Kemble, Archers, A T Brown, Brees, Dalton & Son, The Record Cellar, World Records in London Road, and Carousel.

2005 – the first Glastonbudget festival. To hell and back, Meatloaf tribute band, Ded Hot Chilie Peppers, One Step behind (Madness tribute), Oasish, The Jamm, were amongst the bands that played.
2005 – Arts in Leicestershire founded. The domain name was registered on 22nd February. Soon followed by the publication of the early version of the Arts in Leicestershire web site.
2005 – The Donkey in Welford Road becomes a live music venue.
2005 – Kevin Hewick started on Facebook.
2005 – The Musician reopened on 1 February, actually smaller than before because of the toilet repositioning, and live music continued unabated until May.
2005 – formation of Leicestershire band Roxum.
2006 – Horus Music established in Birmingham, later to move to Leicester which is where it is now.
2006 – The Glastonbudget Festival starts to put on local original bands such as The Authentics, UgLi, Jack of Hearts, The Stiff Naked Fools, Ego Armalade, Proud to have met you, Platinum JAR, Ictus.
2007 – many more local original bands (‘new acts’) play at Glastonbudget, such as Ictus, Patchwork Grace, Skam#, The Mile, Subdude, Jack of Hearts, Black River Project, Utopians, Squid Ate Lucy, Codes, C*Bob, Purple and the Rains, amongst many others. Playing at Glastonbudget was for many of the new, original bands a premium achievement when this was one fo the new local festivals of any importance.
2008 – July, the Heroes win a competition to be opening band on the main stage at Summer Sundae.’Thousands of you voted and the results are in… The winners are… Leicester band The Heroes are to open The Weekender in Leicester.’ Guitarist Alex Van Roose went on to form Midnight Wire and lead vocalist Alex Totman went on to form Selby Court band.
2009 – May, Glastonbudget Festival.

The Facebook Generation

2005 to 2014
The growth of Facebook saw the demise of Myspace, as the new social networking platform took off in the UK. Now bands set up a page as soon as they start. Music venues and festivals depend on social media to attract fans and ticket sales at minimal cost. Previously paper-based music magazines and newspapers begin to close down in favour of on-line versions. Record label A&R scouts work more on the Internet than at music venues. Contemporary music of Leicester’s bands, singers and rappers as presented on Facebook, Twitter and other parts of the Internet. Leicester bands and singers that have made it on the national and world stage. Through YouTube, Soundcloud, Reverb Nation and Beat 100, people all over the world can listen to Leicester’s music. Twitter becomes a social media outlet for most bands and music artists.

The Internet – early adopters

2006 – the launch of Twitter.
2006 – Trevor Locke joined Facebook
2007 – The first gig reviews published by Arts in Leicester.
2007 – Val McCoy joined Facebook
2008 – Pick of the gigs for 2008 published by Arts in Leicester.
2008 – gig reviews for the year 2008.
2009 – Leicester rock bands in 2009 and earlier published on Arts in Leicester.
2009 – Alan Freeman publishes an online list of Leicester bands.
2009 – Dawson Smith is on Facebook
2009 – Pick of the gigs for 2009 published on Arts in Leicester.
2010 – Reviews of gigs in 2010 published on Arts in Leicester.
2010 – Videos released by Leicester bands in 2010 published on Arts in Leicester.
2011 – A list of all known Leicester bands was published by Arts in Leicester.
2011 – January, The Donkey puts up a page on Facebook
2011 – a list of bands known to exist in Leicester in 2011 was released as a PDF document.
2011, 25th August, By The Rivers band register their domain name.

Some of the milestones in the road to Internet for everything

The first decade of the new millennium saw the Internet become the default platform for all things to do with bands and music.

The growth of Facebook saw the demise of Myspace as the new social networking platform took off in the UK.
Now bands set up a Facebook page as soon as they start.

iTunes started as a multi-national platform when Apple bought it in 2000. iTunes store started in 2003. It was not until 2007 that iTunes started to become available for Windows computers.
Myspace was launched in 2003. Up to 2008 it was the most visited social media site in the World, when it was overtaken by Facebook.
The rise of the search engines and Google.
In 2004 arcticmonkeys.com was registered. The band, which formed in 2002, was signed in 2005 but before tht they had established a sizeable fanbase on Myspace.
YouTube was founded in 2005 and taken over by Google in 2006.
ReverbNation was launched in 2006, as a site for the independent music industry.
Soundcloud was started in Germany in 2007. Between 2007 and 2009 it began to challenge Myspace as the main site for distributing music tracks.
Bandcamp was founded in 2007.
Music venues and festivals depend on social media to attract fans and ticket sales at minimal cost.
Paper-based music magazines and newspapers begin to close down in favour of on-line versions.
Record label A&R scouts work more on the Internet than at music venues.
Contemporary music of Leicester’s bands, singers and rappers as presented on Facebook,Twitter and other parts of the Internet began to take off from 2006 onwards.
In Leicester, there were some early adopters of customised domain names and websites.
Many bands took advantage of free social media platforms, especially Myspace. In the list of Leicester rocks bands, published by Arts in Leicester in 2009, links were given to each band’s website and the majority of these were on Myspace, most of them having dedicated addresses, e.g. http://www.myspace.com/bandname.
Kasabian.co.uk was registered in 2002. One of the earliest domain names to be used by a band originated in Leicester. Someone in Leicester registered thescreening.co.uk in 2004.

People on Facebook – the early adopters

Trevor Locke joined Facebook in 2006 with a personal account in his own name. He added a photo album to his account called ‘Leicester rock stars’ in 2007.
Andrew Stone of the Displacements and later Little Night Terrors joined Facebook in 2007.
James Shaw and Jason Westall of The Utopians joined Facebook in 2007.
The Utopians set up a group on Facebook in 2007 and has a single release at The Shed, on 9th October. In July 2007. The Utopians played a ‘guerilla gig’ at a warehouse in Leicester. The band set up a band page in January 2009. They also had a page on Myspace.
Luke D’Mellow (The Utopians) joined Facebook in June 2007.
2007 – An events page for the Utopians at The Shed on 20th December 2007 showed 17 guests going, including Raj Mohanlal, the members of the band and some of their close friends.
2008 – August, Connor Evans (Weekend Schemers) joined Facebook.
DJ Lisa Lashes joined Facebook in May 2009.
2009 – Trevor Locke creates a photo album called “Leicester rock stars” on his Facebook account.

Next time on Going To Gigs: we trace the roots of rock by going back in time to the early days of popular music.

See round 12 of Going to Gigs.

See round 10 of Going to Gigs

Read the introduction to the series.

History of Music

History of popular music in Leicester. Home page.

Home page for the section

History of Music in Leicester

This page provides links to the series of articles about the history of popular music in Leicester and Leicestershire.

In the old magazine, we published several pages that plotted the history of popular music from Roman times to the present day.

As these pages are added, links to them will be published on this page.

Leicester bands

Bands 2013 Home Page of the magazine

Arts in Leicester magazine archive

Rock bands from Leicester

In 2013, Arts in Leicester magazine published a great deal of content about bands (from the local area) that played all styles of rock music, including pop, metal, punk, hip-hop and several other flavours of sound.

Here is a facsimile of the home page for the Bands Section of the magazine from 2013.

Bands homepage

At this time, Leicester and Leicestershire had around four hundred working bands. All of them played live at gigs held in the local venues, pubs and festivals.

Working Projects.
Source folder /bandphotos 2010/

The magazine had thousands of photographs of bands performing at gigs and festivals.

Weekend Schemers. Photo by Kevin Gaughan.
Source folder /bandphotos 2010/

As our archive project develops, we hope to post extracts from gigs reviews, to provide examples of what the magazine published about the shows and gigs its reporters attended.

See also:

Home page of the music section of this magazine.


New tracks recorded by bands from leicester 2011

New tracks from Leicester/shire bands 2011

On this page we flag up new recordings and tracks from Leicester Rock bands.

[Originally published on Arts in Leicester magazine, 2011]

30th December 2011

Black Page Turns


Listening to this BPT track on Youtube – Things that make us hate

Black Page Turns will be releasing 12 brand new songs in 2012 as part of their 12 in 2012 project whereby the band will give one FREE download every month throughout the entire year to fans through their website and mailing list.

Beginning with January’s Things That Make Us Hate, the band have already finished the first 5 tracks so please send the band an email at blackpageturns at yahoo.co.uk to get the first track next month!

2nd December

Witches – Little Night Terrors

Album cover of Witches by Little Night Terros, 2011

Featuring the bass of Dan Holyoak. You can download it for free from the LNT web site.

After the success of their first release, the Fangs EP (which has now sold out), the band are putting out the Witches. Their music is a mixture of fuzzed-up rock and roll, heavy guitars and catchy, harmony-soaked melodies. Think The Rolling Stones, Primal Scream and The Cure jamming together on undiscovered Motown tracks, with Beck popping in every now and then, bringing more drinks.

The lead single and title track Witches is an upfront barrage of psychedelic imagery, John Entwistle basslines and a chorus that will be lodged in your head for ever. The next track Heaven is all heavy, reverberating Mary Chain guitars and driving pounding rhythms, with an upbeat vocal that hides a dark tale of suicide underneath.

What’s Your Persuasion Baby? is a live favourite, with big riffs, swirling leslie organ sounds and a menacing anthemic vocal. The final track on the EP is the dark but hopeful Two Weeks, with a lower wistful vocal which opens out to a powerhouse chorus with screaming harmonies. Dan and James set up a groove fuelled rhythm which comes to a head in the breakdown middle eight with shakers, and a chanted group singalong. The recordings were tracked live with Alan Smyth (Arctic Monkeys, Jarvis Cocker, The Black Moths) at 2Fly Studios, Sheffield.

The tracks have already been played on BBC Radio The Beat with Dean Jackson. They play at Leicester’s White Noise Christmas Festival on Dec 18th and are playing their own headline show at the Firebug on January 19th.

See Little Night Terrors on Facebook

Read our interview with Little Night Terrors in 2010

27th November

Lily – by Flip Like Wilson

Another really good track from one of Leicester’s promising young bands

8th November

New song from Flip Like Wilson

Leicester’s rising pop punkers, Flip Like Wilson, have a new track Further Education, up on You Tube.We like this song, it’s a great poppy, dancy tune, full of Blink 182 riffs. You can get more like that from the Flip Like Wilson page on Bandcamp.

Listen to Lily by Flip Like Wilson on YouTube.

28th September

New track from I Am In Love

Call me an animal

Listen to it and see the vid on YouTube

15th August

New single out today from Go Primitive. We are one is available now from iTunes.

Get We Are One by Go Primitive | Also available from Amazing Tunes

26th July

Jersey Budd

and Leicester City Football Club team up for terrace anthem When You’re Smiling

It’s an absolute honour to be releasing When You’re Smiling, writes Jersey Budd. As a massive Leicester City fan it’s a dream come true. To have Sven and the boys backing it is incredible too.

Hopefully it will raise a massive amount for the charity and act as a catalyst to get our club back where we belong, The Premier League.

The digital download is available now (iTunes) and the physical CD release is slated for August 12th, and will include majestic coming-of-age anthem She Came Back which features Tom Meighan of Kasabian.

The CD will be available from the LCFC club shop as well as Rock-a-Boom, Leicester. ALL proceeds from the release will go to charity. There will be 10 charities to benefit – under the banner of ‘One in a Million.’

More information on Facebook.

4th July

New album from the Elephant band

What’ s interesting about the Elephant band is that the tracks were sent to me by Callum Goddin (ex Aromattics.) That was recommendation enough. I saw the Aromattics playing at Oxjam last year and commented:

Featuring the ear pleasing and vibrant vocals of Callum Goddin, well supported by the expertise of Jordan Birtles on the drums and Mickey Burnage on base. Full of delicious rhythms and catchy harmonies, their set was laden style and vitality. Thoroughly enjoyable.

If you remember them, Leicester band Aromattics were a three piece alternative band from Clarendon Park, Leicester. The band consisted of Callum Goddin, 18, with Guitar and Lead Vocals, Michael Burnage, 18 on Bass and backing vocals and Jordan Birtles, 16 on Drums and backing vocals

Now that’s a talented lineup. Now based in Sheffield, where they formed in late 2010, Elephant consists of Robin Gabriel-Smith, David Westley, Joseph Todd, Ben Winter and Callum Goddin.

The two tracks they sent me were pleasing enough. I Should Be, was to me the better of the two. The vocals were stunning, delicately laced with restrained instrumentals in the introductory passages. A gentle, lyrical story about love and relationships. Sung with real passion, the song was full of charm and poetic colour. The band breaks in to develop the introduction, as the song unravels. Elephant is a product of real musical talent; it’s vocals are sumptuous and the recording is excellent. It’s and astutely restrained piece and three and half minutes of real musical pleasure.

The second track, Big Nose, took me a bit by surprise. The first 40 seconds failed to grab me until the vocal line comes in, then I really got interested. The song glides over the moody backing. It sounds likes blue and certainly it laden with mood and colour. It was dissapointing that the vocals were restricted to the middle part of the track. The instrumentals and electro parts were possibly a little over played. I just wanted to hear more of that fabulous singing.

Both tracks indicate real artistic talent and musical quality. Delightful songs delivered with finesse and creativity.

Elephant by The Elephant Band – Download | Elephant on Facebook

28th June

Leicester hardcore band Through These Eyes

have released a new track – Swirls.

8th May

Hybrid Trend’s

new tracks. We say they are a hit.

Leicester band Hybrid Trend have issued four new tracks. We love them.

25th April

New track from Leicester band I Am In Love

I Am In Love’s new single “I want you” is out today

Hear it on iTunes

K.Y F.t J1,Bizzi,L.J,Chezza,Snidee and Wanda – Be With You girl remix

See the video, hear the track

16th February

White Ashes

Joe Walker of White Ashes, 2011

Leicester band White Ashes have released a new track called Same Old Feeling. Vocals are by Joe Walker. It’s a pleasing tuneful ballad with some big backing from the band. Joe sinks a good deal of passion into the vocals and the whole track has some splendid dynamics. A good song from one of our hard working bands

28th January

I Am In Love

Latest tracks from new Leicester band I am In Love: it’s called Call me an animal. Have a listen.

26th December


Ashes (Welcome Home)

24th December

The Hordes

The Hordes have released a new four track album called Burn the Lies. You can listen online. We liked it!.

28th November

Formal Warning

New single “A million is better than one”

14th November


Paladin’s new track PG is up now on their Myspace. Go listen! It’s rockin’

11th November


New single “Makes Me Go”

Recorded at Park Farm studios and released on SiZe Rcords UK, the track also features B-Side, ‘Make Love’ and a remix by our massively talented label mate Glover.

Autohype fans will love this new recording. It’s got all the great electro sound and massive beats that makes Autohype the dance kings of Leicester. It’s got all the stomping vocals and compelling riffs that we love so much. Well worth buying.

Glover Remix Version

Fans who liked Makes Me Go also liked Make Love

Info from Facebook

8th November


Kasabian’s Tom Meighan will feature on a new single being released to raise funds for UNICEF’s Pakistan Flood Children’s Appeal and the Harley Staples Cancer Trust.

The Kasabian frontman has recorded the rollicking ‘Viva La Revolution’ with Leicester band Superevolver, joining them in pledging all proceeds from sales to UNICEF and the Harley Staples Cancer Trust, a Leicester charity set up in memory of local eight year old Harley, who lost his battle with cancer last November.

Written by Superevolver frontman James Mabbett, ‘Viva La Revolution’ ft. Tom Meighan will be available to download from iTunes, Amazon, Zune, last.fm, Myspace and Spotify from November 8th through Telescope Records. The download also features a bonus remix from Dan Thomas.

New song Viva la Revolution, featuring Kasabian’s Tom Meighan, is available from Itunes.

The Stiggz

The Stiggz Indie Disco Album £2.76


Reviewed by Sam Topley

Syren are an all female alt-rock trio with members from the UK and US. Their beautifully arpeggiated acoustic guitar melodies are complemented by raw, distinctly fretless bass lines. Add their driven, explosive percussion and powerful yet mellow vocals- Syren are definately one to listen out for!

Syren’s subtle, eclectic blend of genres and ability to perform is shown throughout their debut, self released album, ‘Dehumanized’. With thirteen, excellently arranged tracks by three female artists from both sides of the Atlantic, be sure to order your copy from their website. Syren will shortly embark on an extensive UK tour with plenty of shows in and around Leicestershire.

[Some links have been removed from this article because they no longer work]


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)


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.


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.