Famous bands from Leicester

Famous bands from Leicester

Leicester might not be the most distinctive name in the history of musical production, but it has spawned some real corkers over the years, with the likes of Kasabian and Queen's John Deacon. Singing Lessons Leicester thinks this is one hell of a reason to get yourself on the road to super-stardom - let's get Leicester back on the map! Here are a few artists to warm up your awe-inspired vocal chords...

Kasabian

Kasabian are undoubtedly Leicester's finest recent export, hailing from Countesthorpe and Blaby, and formed in 1997. They were originally named Saracuse, and began whilst three of the members were still attending college. They rehearsed at Bedrock Studios where bassist Chris Edwards was an engineer, and the name Kasabian was picked by Chris Karloff, who later departed the band due to 'creative differences'. The group have produced four studio albums: Kasabian, 2004; Empire, 2006; West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum, 2009; and Velociraptor!, 2011. They have picked up 8  awards through the years, including Q Awards, NME Awards and a Brit Award, and have nominated for many more besides. Their most famous records include 'Club Foot', 'Fire', 'Shine On' and 'Underdog'.

Showaddywaddy

Showadddywaddy began in 1973 as the amalgamation of two bands - Choise, and The Golden Hammers - that found they possessed complimentary musical taste while gigging in the same venue, thus rendering them with two vocalists, two guitarists, two drummers and two bassists! They appeared on talent-show New Faces, taking the crown in the initial production, and then the position of the runner-up in the 'All-Winners Final'. Their first single, 'Hey Rock and Roll', written by the band, charted at number-2 in the UK, but they predominantly found fame with covers of 50's and 60's classics, originally by the likes of Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. The band have recently celebrated their 40th anniversary, and continue to tour around the UK and Europe!

John Deacon

Hailing from Oadby, Leicestershire, John Deacon became the last, and youngest, member of the iconic rock band Queen, at the humble age of 19. Whilst being recruited as bassist, he also occasionally played the guitar, drums and keyboard, and very infrequently provided back vocals. At age 14 he began his first band, The Opposition, as the rhythm guitarists, but soon moved onto bass as a replacement for a previous bassist who proved inadequate. It was whilst attending Chelsea College, London, that he auditioned to become the bassist for Queen, who chose him for his 'quiet' demeanour in addition to musical talent. By the time Queen's third album arrived, Deacon decided it was his time to contribute. He wrote 'Stone Cold Crazy', and later, 'You're My Best Friend' and 'Another One Bites The Dust', as well as several others. He officially retired from music in 1997 but had performed very little since the death of bandmate Freddie Mercury. He has since refused to attend reunion events and failed to turn up to the band's induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, which suggests the loss of Freddie effected him greatly and, unfortunately, irreversibly.

Frank Benbini

Mark Francis Reid, aka Frank Benbini, is best known for becoming the drummer for the Fun Lovin' Criminals in 2003, yet, known also as Uncle Frank and TRM (The Rhythm Man), Benbini is one half of the 'Make it Nice Brothers', who perform in both Uncle Frank and Fatal Star - two unsigned bands based in Leicester. Alongside all this, Benbini has also performed with the band Cantaloop as drummer and guest vocalist. The talented drummer has also tried his hands at acting, featuring in a film by the Fun Lovin' Criminals, as well as 'Clubbing to Death'. Mark Francis continues to perform under his many pseudonyms with a range of musical styles.

Freefall Felix

Inspiring the love of Ska music in the city for a generation of fans, Leicester's Freefall Felix began in 2006, led by vocalist Charlie Drew. They swiftly embarked on one UK tour after another, yet frequently graced their hometown with mind-blowing live performances, with all the loyalty of a band that appreciated their roots. The six-piece group produced two EP's: The White Label, 2006; and Meltdown, 2007; featuring audio-sensations such as 'Tonight's The Night' and 'Just One Last Time'. Despite parting ways in 2008, the band achieved a great deal in their time together, and are well worth a listen if you haven't already!

Photography: Christian Bertrand



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