DMU students report live from election counts

Students from the Leicester Centre for Journalism at DMU are reporting live from General Election counts tonight.

ballot box

First years Alice Warner, Ross Barnett and Luke Smith volunteered to file live reports for the Leicester Mercury from counts across the county.

Alice is covering the South Leicestershire constituency count being held at Enderby Leisure Centre – follow her tweets @JournalismAlice.

Meanwhile Ross and Luke are at the Rutland and Melton count in Melton – follow their tweets @rbarnett08 and @LukeSmith68.

Their reports are also being fed into the Leicester Mercury’s live election blog.


Broken Witt Rebels rock The Musician

Gig review by Ross Barnett

Broken Witt Rebels produced a set of the highest calibre to a full house at The Musician on Friday night.


Before Broken Witt Rebels took to the stage at 10pm, The Musician was treated to two wonderful support acts to get the musical juices flowing.

Birmingham based band, The Surrenders opened proceedings with an action packed set before The Della Grants showcased why they’re one of the best new British bands to successfully merge blues, rock and R&B into their music.

Prior to the spectacular performance I caught up with lead vocalist Danny Core to reflect on their progress as a band.

“It started as myself and Luke Davis playing as much music as we could, then we added James Trantor as lead guitarist before drummer James Dudley joined the band,” Danny said.

What started as a band playing the circuit in Birmingham who decided on a name from picking random words out of the Metro newspaper, they have grown to support acts such as Icelandic band Kaleo, whose song Way Down We Go can be recognised from the second trailer of Marvel’s Logan.

“Our name was mainly Luke’s idea. It was a random three words, but we played into it and have become the name and brand. I can’t see another name being more fitting,” Danny added.

“We had to work hard, we had to do it the old fashioned way and we had to make our name by playing live to anywhere and anyone we could.

“The great thing about it was that you needed good music and we believed we did have good music.”

Returning to Leicester for the first time since last July, Danny offered a passionate and emotive mid-performance thanks to the crowd for their support.

He said: “A year ago we played in front of a half-filled room, to see this [The Musician] packed out means an awful lot to us.”

Despite an appearance at Camden Festival the day after Leicester, Danny and the band were delighted to play in Leicester once again: “We believe that you have to reach a level of success before you take days off – any time you can get work is a good time.

“We love Leicester and Carol, of Casbah [Music Management and Promotions], has always been very good to us so when the opportunity arose we wanted to do it for her.”

Having released their first EP Howlin’ in 2014 and second EP, Georgia Pine in 2016, what used to be a hobby has turned into a career.

“The band, for a few years, was a hobby and we only practiced when we could squeeze it into our lives,” Danny said. “Then we started to gain a good fan base and we achieved some success so we quit our jobs and decided to go for it.”

Despite being six months into 2017, there is still plenty to be expected from Broken Witt Rebels: “We have a very busy festival season, the Isle of Wight, Download Festival and then we’re off to America before supporting The Cadillac Three in a tour around Europe in November.”

Leicester set for ‘crazy’ night at The Donkey

Leicester’s The Donkey opens its doors to Crazy Cowboy Live Events who bring a stellar lineup on Friday night (June 9).

Drummer turned guitarist, Matty James Cassidy opens the night with an acoustic set. Having worked with music luminaries such as Ricky Warwick from Thin Lizzy, the self-prescribed ‘modern day troubadour’ has received rave reviews from established publications such as Black Velvet Magazine, Dangerdog Music Reviews and Rushonrock.

Matty arrives in Leicester having made hundreds of performances across the UK and Europe as well as self-releasing two albums entitled The Road to No Town and Last One to Die.

Grace Solero leads her band in the second of the support acts. Releasing their debut album, New Moon, in 2009 they had great success with the first track, Apartheid, featured by Bruce Dickinson on BBC Radio 6.

Describing themselves as ‘sonically abrasive,’ lead singer Grace Solero displays a wide range of vocals combining with the extraordinary ability of guitarist Dan Beaulaurier and will leave you immersed in the rhythm of the music.

It is Grace Solero’s first appearance in Leicester, but they won’t be gone for long as they return in July to play at the Musician.

Newly formed in January 2016, The Whiskey Rebellion have been on quite the journey. Influenced by the likes of The Punch Brothers, The Dropkick Murphys, Sheelanagig and Bellowhead, you are guaranteed to be taken on a musical adventure with a mixture of their foot stomping and chilled songs.

Fresh from the Glastonbudget Music Festival, The Whiskey Rebellion join the party at The Donkey where they’ll ‘be revealing some new material to titillate your senses, packed full of debauchery and hedonism in the classic Whiskey Rebellion style.’

Andrea Kenny, lead singer of The Brandy Thieves, is set to perform a live acoustic set. Having previously performed with The Whiskey Rebellion at a raucous evening at The Soundhouse, Leicester, Andrea has a powerful voice that will leave you speechless.

Andrea joins up with her fellow ‘misguided and mischievous lost souls’ to ‘combine gypsy rhythms and punk energy and ska grooves and folk storytelling.’

Headlining the event on Friday night, the Rainbreakers will bring their ‘distinctive sound that embodies a fusion of dynamic musical elements that bridges the gap between Blues, Rock, Pop and Soul’ to Leicester as part of their UK tour which sees them take to the stage in 13 locations over the period of a month.

Having been credited by publications such as The Blues Magazine and Blues and Soul Magazine, their profile has gone from strength to strength and they are tipped to break into the big league in the not so distant future.

Influenced by bands such as The Black Keys and The London Souls, the band hailing from Shrewsbury were nominated for the Best Emerging Artist 2016 in the British Blues Awards.

Get down to The Donkey on Welford Road on Friday (9th) for a 7pm start. Tickets costing £11 are available from

By Ross Barnett