Tonight, I’ve been to another showcase night.
But, this wasn’t at the Musician in Leicester, a venue where I feel so comfortable. This was downstairs in the Exchange bar. The Exchange has been open for a few years now and I’ve never really warmed to it. It’s at the heart of Leicester’s cultural quarter, over the road from the expensive and soulless Curve Theatre.
This ‘cultural quarter’ was something imposed upon Leicester people by Local Authority types and Arts Council executives. I must be lacking in culture because for me the whole area feels unwelcoming, divisive and as devoid of creative excitement as can be.
I bought a lime and soda for £2.20. I then bought a designer bag of pork scratchings for £2.50. I never knew that you could buy designer pork scratchings. They saw me coming eh?
I digress. There were 4 acts on tonight and The Strangler Figs played last. I’ve seen them once before and their brand of pop swing is creating a buzz around town. Think smoky Parisienne bars, cultured cabaret and witty wordplay and you won’t be too far wide of the mark.
I wrote about Birmingham based, Steady Hands, in an earlier blog and The Strangler Figs occupy a similar space. It’s music laden with quirks and charm and they might be influenced by The Real Tuesday Weld. They also might never have heard of Stephen Coates and his brand of Antique Beat.
Here’s a track that The Strangler Figs released in January. Tonight, they put the cultural into the quarter.