Where’s the music, Leicester?

Graham Coxon

Graham Coxon

Took the trip to Nottingham last night to see the former ex-member of Blur Graham Coxon perform his latest solo work.

Having taken advantage in the past week or so of some of Leicester’s best arts venues – Be Near Me at Curve and the faultless In The Loop at the Phoenix – what a shame that you have to travel for an hour to see some decent live music.

You’d have thought that between the £60 million-odd that the theatre cost and the £21 million move across town for the Phoenix, they’d have been able to provide an acceptable arena for nationally-acclaimed touring bands. Or maybe that wasn’t highbrow enough.

I never went to the Charlotte before it closed a few months ago, mainly because by the time I arrived in Leicester there was nothing there I wanted to see. But with a city with such a musical pedigree, and, if nothing else, with such a sizable student population, it’s disgraceful that recognisable acts can’t play here.

As it was, Coxon was a slight disappointment, but I wouldn’t have minded that if I’d only had a short walk home.

I’m on holiday this week; one of the best countries in the world beckons on Wednesday if I can find my passport.

About Ian

A journalist working in Brussels
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7 Responses to Where’s the music, Leicester?

  1. Matt says:

    The campaign for an arena in Leicester was launched two years ago. It failed miserably. There isn’t enough public support for it.

    The only conclusion to be drawn is that most folk are happy to go to Nottingham or Birmingham for gigs. Sad but true.

  2. Ross Grant says:

    Highbrow seemed to be the way the Arts Council were pushing for in the conditions it set on funding Curve, and without that funding it would not have been built.

    Now with the capital liabilities to pay off it is unlikely we can afford another major public venue for some years. That leaves us with smaller venues or DMH; not ideal for all touring music. That is also true of many plays and touring productions which will not go to the sub 1000 seat Curve.

  3. There are no major venues but there are people getting together to put music on in Leicester (small venues like Firebug to start with) – For example, Twesta Promotions were formed from a Twitter collaboration and will hopefully looking to fill the gap the Charlotte has left.

    On another note, we’re also going to be without the UoL SU as a venue next year (they are redeveloping the whole building – should have a better venue by September 2010) They were quite good for biggish acts.

    I’m originally from a town near Glasgow – I’ve definitely not been to anywhere near the same amount of live music gigs as I used to when I lived in Glasgow. It’s almost as if the want for it has gone because it isn’t directly available for me anymore.

    Don’t get me started on the curve…

  4. Ian says:

    Thanks for the comments. De Montfort Hall is a good venue but, as you say Ross, too big for many gigs.

    Perhaps, as JayJay says, people will get together to fill the gaps and new venues will evolve. There’s certainly no shortage of smaller places such as Firebug.

    But if, as you say, the university’s SU is not going to be there next year, that will increase the shortage even more.

  5. thegremlin1999 says:

    The first post on that URL is an article i wrote for my journalism course about a similar subject. Would love some feedback!

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