Famous Bands from Leicester

Famous Bands from Leicester

Leicester has produced some truely amazing bands over the last few decades, the likes of Showaddywaddy, The Young Knives and of course Kasabian are being Leicester lads! We have also got a fantastic underground music scene with noteable local bands like The Displacement and Freefall Felix (now disbanded) capturing the city's attention. Having been lucky enough to be a part of the Leicester music scene I can let you know there really is nothing like it! To inspire you to be the next Kasabian we have written a short bio about Leicester's most successful bands - enjoy!

Kasabian were formed in 1997 by two former students of Countesthorpe Community College, Blaby recording their first demo under the name of Saracuse. After only a few gigs, including gigs at The Shed, the band was spotted and changed their name to Kasabian practising constantly until the release of their self-titled album in 2004 recieving extremely positive reviews. The album quickly went double platinum, with the tracks Club Foot & L.S.F (Lost Souls Forever) helping Kasabian to be nominated for numerous Brit Awards & reaching number four in the UK albums. After extensive world tours, including slots at the Glastonbury & Reading Festivals, the band settled down to record their second album, Empire, released in 2006 shooting straight to number one. Yet it was their 2009 album, West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, that really confirmed Kasabian as one of the biggest rock acts in the UK with tracks like Fire, Fast Fuse, and Underdog arguably some of the best rock songs written in recent years. Their fusion of Stone Roses and Oasis, clearly evident in their music, was also present on their 2011 number one hit album Velociraptor! rising Kasabian to international fame culminating in Kasabian headling the 2012 Reading & Leeds festival. By far the biggest band to come out of Leicester!

Showaddywaddy is a rather unusal band, often referred to in modern culture by Hugh Dennis during Mock the Week, that rose to prominance and chart domination during the 70s and early 80s. They were ususal as the band included two drummers, two bass guitarist and two singers after merging together from two bands to form Showaddywaddy. Their first single Hey Rock and Roll entered the charts at number 2 with their self titled debut album reaching number 9 in the UK album charts in 1974. Showaddywaddy went on to have nine top ten UK hits, including one number one with Under the Moon of Love in 1976 selling over 985,000 copies alone - almost ten times more than any modern day number 1 single. Amazingly the band is still touring, you can go and see them on one of their never ending UK tours!

John Deacon, Queen's bassit, grew up in Oadby Leicester attending Gartree Highschool and Beauchamp College before attending King's College London achieving a First Class Honours Degree in electronics. While at university Deacon befriended Brian May and ended up auditioning for Queen after they had fired their bass guitar player - Deacon was selected for his quite calm demeanor. Queen quickly rose to international fame, with Deacon providing the lead riff for songs like Another One Bites The Dust and Under Pressure, yet famously Deacon never had a mic and therefore is somewhat forgotten for being an intergeral part of perhaps the greatest rock band the world has ever scene. According to the Sunday Times Rich List Deacon is worth an estimated £63 million, not bad for a bass player from Gartree Highschool!

The Displacements are a local band that rose to the fore of the Leicester music scene along with Freefall Felix in the late 2000s with their brand of indie riffs. Their debut single Frontline Hearts sold out within weeks of its release, selling well over 1,000 copies within Leicester alone which for an unsigned band is great going! In 2008 the band were regually selling out music venues around Leicester, with notable gigs at the Charlotte where fans we turned away after selling out the venue! Having toured with bands like The Courteeners, The Twang, The Enemy, and Glasvegas the Displacements were certainly one of Leciester's most promising bands! Sadly they have faded from the limelight in the last two years, no doubt we will be hearing more from Andy Stone, Nick Eversfield, Joe Wilson and James Stone soon if not in The Displacements then in another band!

Young Knives hailing from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire rose to fame in 2002 with the release of the mini album The Young Knives... Are Dead. In 2006 they played their biggest live gigs, fashioned as ever in their tweed jackets, releasing their first full album Voices of Animals and Men which reached number 21 in the UK album charts and recieved a Nationwide Mercury Prize nomination. Their second album, charting at number 28 however marked the beginning of the bands desent from national fame, named Superabundance critics commented it marked nothing new about the band. Ornaments from the Silver Arcade, the bands third album confimed these comments with it not selling well, reaching only 80 in the UK album charts. Time will only tell if we hear from Young Knives again!

Freefall Felix, born out of Special Guests were a scar band the recieved a lot of attention in Leicester during their brief excistance in the late 2000s. Charlie Drew & Ed Branford, former students at Gartree High School & Beauchamp College Oadby, created Freefall Felix after the success of their band Special Guests with their well known underground EP's Give it up for the other band & Chalk and Cheese. Well supported by students from Beauchamp College the newly formed scar band immeditatly made an impression seeing Freefall Felix selling out local venues & releasing The White Lable EP. With a passionate Leicester fanbase the band launched their first UK tour which was a huge success, with audiences snapping up their second EP Meltdown pushing Freefall Felix to the next level! A little known story about the Meltdown EP was the band recieved over 500 pre-orders of the EP & they posted them all into one post box which arsonists set fire too. Subsquently all the cds we destoryed, putting the band deeply out of pocket to refund fans and remanufacture the CDs. Indeed, it was this lack of money that inhibited Freefall Felix pushing on and going further - one of their last gigs at Panic in front of 1,000 Leicester fans saw the band go broke never to return. Charlie Drew is now a solo artist, with his songs recieving hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube. Search for Freefall Felix Just on Last Time and Meltdown to listen to their quality music!

Photography: Christian Bertrand

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