French Leave – Tourist

It’s a fantastic time to be a citizen of Leicester. 

I’ve lived here more than a dozen years now and have always raved about its wonders. When Kasabian headlined at Glastonbury, I wore my retro-foxes top all day even though their brand of indie swagger is not exactly my thing.

When King Richard was buried, I was in Yorkshire but should have been on our fab streets. 

Now, we have the football. An amazing thing is happening across this beautiful city. A place so used to not really singing from the rooftops about its wonder now finds itself thrust onto the back pages of national newsprint. I was on a train heading back to Leicester yesterday with tourists who thought they’d visit because ‘it seemed like a vibrant place’.

These are great times. 

It’s a common theme that I keep coming back to both in my blog and in my live reviews for the Mercury. When I went to see the Brandy Thieves (and reviewed it here), I had to state that there was a movement occurring. Earlier this year when I featured Plaudits on this blog (here), I sensed that this was a city dancing to a different drum. 

Now, we have the new single from French Leave. ‘Tourist’ is an absolute belter. Occupying a similar space to Plaudits, French Leave appear to revel in a hard-edged electro-pop thing. I deny you to not think this is brilliant. When they sing ‘Come see me in my town’, it’s an invite to head here and party with us all. Yes, this is a tune that might well become a soundtrack to my summer, blasting from the speakers when the team are transported in their open top bus. 

French Leave are playing at the painstakingly curated Handmade Festival in a couple of weeks. It’s a great festival for this great city and it’s not escaped my attention that this might be the weekend when we’re really under the glare of worldwide media.

We love N’golo Kante. We want the French to Stay. 

French Leave..



Plaudits – Honest

“Hi Sean

We are Plaudits, an original band from Leicester and have been together for around six months.”

So went the opening words of an E-mail that I received a couple of weeks ago. 

If ever a band wants to grab my attention then this is a pretty good way to go about it. Appeal to my sense of local pride by revealing that we have place in common. 

But, I’ve been let down in such exchanges before now. I maintained caution. This is a city very good at fostering the spirit of sub-standard Kasabian tribute acts. And whilst those acts invariably will go on to headline the Shed on a Tuesday night, my thing on Sonic Breakfast is to pick out the wheat from the chaff. 

Plaudits are building up towards the time when their first EP, Hinterland, is released in April. Before that, they’re releasing individual tracks from it, beginning with this tune ‘Honest’. When I first heard it, I could barely conceal my excitement. Here’s a band that are clearly giving thought to their craft and approach. This is a project with ambition akin to an experiment by Tony Wilson rather than a shambolic, haphazard, ‘let’s see where it takes us’ thing. Plaudits are two steps ahead of this game. 

‘Honest’ is truthfully very great indeed. A soaring piece of electronica – a harder edged Two Door Cinema Club – a track that wouldn’t look out of place on the new New Order record. 

I cannot wait to find out more about this band. Plaudits – they will take them..