Posts Tagged ‘Leicester’

Dubbed “Next Big Thing” by Leicester Sound, an accolade shared with acts like Joel Owen & The Antoine Band, The Lonesome Party Heroes have a lot to live up to.

Made up of founders Glenn Mansell [vocals] & Ian Hollis [bass], alongside David Williams [lead], Phil Windess [keys] and Tom Croft [drums], the promising Leicester quintet are NOT to be confused with Texan folk duo Lonesome Heroes.

Fortunately, their 2nd full-length instalment Point to Prove is simply rather damned good. Minimalistic yet effective album artwork provides, in a nutshell, a sweet analogy to the contents.

Point To Prove – Lonesome Party Heroes. Point well made.

Butterfly sticks like glue to your mental playlist [warm this chilly season, enlight the darkest nights/oh your love surrounds me, come and scream it out]. Always also portrays the panoramic Feeder feel, laced with more spellbinding lyrics.

Emotive words and melancholic chimes are littered throughout In My Dream Tonight, which warms your heart like Gaviscon. “I surrender” expresses Mansell whose metaphorical white flag is waved aloft, more convincingly than Dido’s ever was.

Espionage is the theme of Turn on the Light – a stirring number that borrows from and revs up the throbbing Mission Impossible soundtrack riff. Mansell impersonates Ethan Hunt equally well, [hold out your hands and forget all your plans for redemption kick off your shoes you’ve got nothing to lose but the future, hold your nerve unsteady compromise, turn to the light until to you realise, that when one flies alone you might as well fall].

Throughout, Mansell is a fusion of Simon Neil and Gary Lightbody’s reassuring smoothness minus the Irish lilt.

Short. Sweet. Serenade. Fifty-second snippet Shoes is a triple S for description. [I wore your shoes, they were a size too big and far too heavy, they made me sore, but they made me fly]. Lost and Lonely is another cracker laced with resounding lo-fi experimentation and synth swerve.

Encouraging progress from The Lonesome Party Heroes. Point to Prove? Point well made.

Buy Point to Prove here on Amazon:

Thanks to The Monograph for publishing this review.

Walking to this evening’s venue a concerned policeman can be seen sniffing suspiciously around one of the many shady backstreets within the vicinity of Clyde Street, Leicester. Unbeknown to him, a crime was being committed just round the corner at The Musician where a less than 10% capacity crowd had descended to watch a stellar mid-week line-up of raw local talent.

Understandably hesitant initially, Theo Miller grows visibly in stature towards the end of his stage-warming set. Theo’s intelligence shines through in his acoustic repertoire, his comical rhyming couplets coming to the fore on Plans. His lyrical prowess on the likes of Forgive & Forget has won him fans, and a competition: to perform a support slot for Joan Armatrading at De Montfort Hall in November on her 40th anniversary. Fitting is it then, that he departs with Letters, a song about song-writing.

Last time Rosie Doyle entertained at The Musician she was afflicted with a broken string. On this occasion it’s a woefully-tuned top E string and a cold. Despite the mishaps, Rosie adds valuable impetus to the plucking stakes here, epitomised in the skippy number Yellow Brick Road. Her time will come.

Fay Brotherhood – a bizarre meeting of Boudicca versus Cavegirl, bashing out her Pagan-influenced traditional folk. Photo: Steven Seniw/Kicha Media

Fay Brotherhood’s time is already upon us. Born into a blues-loving family based in Coalville, Fay begs to be different. Aesthetically, she is a bizarre meeting [photo left] of Boudicca versus Cavegirl with her dreadlocks and crafty attire. Musically, her traditional folk interpretations of local legends [Black Annis] and battles [Blue Spiral Screams] make for fascinating listening. Combined with Lee Burns’ violin & electric mandolin, Fay’s music accurately recreates rousing Gaelic tones. Chalk Horses for instance is a galloping romp influenced by stone circles and a certain Pagan festival. Lowlands of Holland is another with an ethereal edge. With a name for fame and the conviction to match, now is a great time to Follow the Falcon and join the Brotherhood.

Sporting a “Drink Coca Cola” t-shirt, headline act Chris Ostler climbs to the stage opting, somewhat surprisingly, for a stool. In energising fashion, as if he’d drunken 10 litres of the caffeine-packed drink, Chris’ strumming arm sets off like a piston. Lamplights is the pinnacle of his intermittently emotional set, featuring a beautifully whistled intro. Bullet from Heaven is another highlight, inspired by his Grandad’s participation in World War II. Evidently an accomplished musician, Chris is firmly in the ilk of Ed Sheeran. Also touring with Joan Armatrading in the winter, 2012 promises to be a memorable year for Chris.

And so the evening closes, the buzz dies down and our thanks go to The Musician and promoters Horus Music Ltd for greatly enriching our musical education.

Read more of the release:

Published by The Monograph.

More smart indie pop from the Leicester lads. New single Pocket Rocket has them knocking on the door. What have the Witches predicted for their future?


Fay Brotherhood is a unique soul whom charts Pagan & Celtic influences for her traditional folk outfit. Take this song for example: her soundtrack to Boudicca’s supposed final skirmish in the Battle of Watling Street, which took place near Mancetter on the Warwickshire-Leicestershire boundary. Drawn from her second album Follow the Falcon, Blue Spiral Screams is a mystical track that perfectly captures the uncertainty that must have been engrained in the minds of Boudicca’s army. 


Free listening to Fay’s ethereal debut Whispers in the Boughs produced in 2003.


For more about Fay

“Ever the dreamer, ever the believer” according to his Myspace bio, Calder McLaughlin can now add fatherhood to his growing list of credentials. It is a theme that inspires much of Chapters & Phases: a twelve-song acoustic album that chronicles his emotional ascent from boy to man.

What Calder lacks in poetic invention, he more than compensates for with his unleashed, heart-warming vocals: best described as a vibrant concoction of Kelly Jones’ gravel and James Skelly’s passion.

On the title track Calder describes fatherhood as “the greatest gift of all”, accompanied by a heart-felt chorus of “this star will always guide you home”. Rarely, in fact, do his melancholic guitar lines and lyrics fail to strike a chord.

The floodgates truly open on Breathe Out and Lights Across The Liffey: a beautiful song inspired by a jaunt to Dublin during a pivotal time in the boy’s life. Passion gushes from every pore as he confronts and accepts his overwhelming emotions, “yeah I’m in love”. It’s not hard to picture Calder featuring in a Gene Kelly-style video; kneeling on a cobbled street, pouring his heart out amidst torrential rain.

Parallels are perhaps better drawn with Chris Martin or Travis on See Saw, a roller-coaster ride of emotive peaks and lulls. And on the anthemic Conflict of Emotions, Calder’s almost a certain Mr Keating back in his Notting Hill days.

“I’ve always kinda looked at the world from a sideways point of view” expresses Calder, a converted drummer. Becoming a parent has clearly elucidated his perspective on life, but in the not-so-distant past he was a young pretender.

These Streets sees Calder revisit his first footsteps in Leicester: soul-searching while lost on a late night out in the city. Back In The Day meanwhile is a nostalgic glance back at “the glory days” – a reference to his participation in Sheffield’s late 90’s drum ‘n’ bass scene. Angelina is a strummed sweetie to end the affair.

Sat, guitar in hand, in what looks like a graffitied skate park corner, sporting heavy stubble and dark-wash jeans, Calder gives the impression of a rough-slept busker. Based on the evidence of Chapters & Phases, one senses he is destined for greater things. Not even the venues on Pocklington’s Walk could house him.

Visit Calder’s website:

Published by The Monograph.