This town instantly makes me think of two things. The first is a patented dance manoeuvre, known only within limited circles as The Leicester Lurch©. Invented onstage during a Babyshambles gig in Leicester circa 2006, it involves leaning forward with one's feet together until the point of falling over, then utilising that momentum to career across the stage at a 45 degree angle, mowing down any mic stands or fellow band members in one's path. It's a snappy little dance, and I'm surprised it hasn't caught on so much. There's a lot to love about it - the physics involved alone would have Brian Cox chewing his pencil. No prizes for guessing who the inventor of this one-man craze was, I'm afraid. I'll give you three guesses, but the first two don't count.
The second thing the word 'Leicester' triggers is, of course, the discovery of Richard III's remains in a Leicester car park last year. If you're from Leicester yourself you're no doubt completely bored of this particular news feed, but for the rest of us it remains a wonderfully random story. I know I bemoan the bland homogenisation of Britain's town centres; I try to keep this in check. But it does seem to cement my position when the last king of the Plantagenet Dynasty is exhumed not from the grounds of a Friary, but from a car park next to Snappy Snaps. Like I said in a previous blog: the past didn't go anywhere. We're walking on it. In this particular instance it seems we were parking our cars on it too.
Tonight's support comes courtesy of brand new band, Loveless. Comprised of an all-star cast of Camdenites (don't judge them on that though. In fact these lads are proof that Camden's not exclusively populated by Leisure Pirates), tonight is their second ever gig. Centred around the voice and songwriting of Laurence Hussey, it's a unique blend of all that was great about British 80's goth-tinged pop. Though the songs are refreshingly unique, there's clear influences: Echo & The Bunnymen, The Cure, Depeche Mode, The Mission, The Smiths and Joy Division are all in there. I'm sure they'll end up being compared mostly to the latter, in no small part due to Laurence's voice. A rich bass, Laurence bravely joins the small ranks of singers who dare to front a guitar band in that vocal register. This, and the fact that they play six perfectly crafted songs, wins them over with a normally stubborn Babyshambles audience. They get extra points from the gear nerds in the crowd too- Loveless achieve authenticity by only playing guitars, analogue synths and amps specific to the era they owe their sound to.
As I anticipated, our show tonight is less leary than Birmingham's. The gender split here definitely seems girl heavy- perhaps the lure of tonight's England/Poland match proved too much for the local lads to resist. Spirits are high though; at one point the entire crowd attempt a collective 'Leicester Lurch'. Could be this tendency to list forth comes naturally to the natives. Richard III, with his famous hunchback, would no doubt have been a fine proponent of The Leicester Lurch. Ah, the circle of life...