DMU and UoL bands clash in musical Varsity contest

By Lara Alsaid

Tuneful students battled it out in a music competition last night(TUE,MAR15) at 2Funky Music Cafe as part of the annual Varsity contest between De Montfort University(DMU) and University of Leicester(UOL).

The Shipping Forecast was the first band to play for DMU.

Varsity is a yearly tradition where during a week, DMU and UOL compete in different sports and activities.

The DMU Music Society competed against UOL by choosing three bands from its membership to perform in the competition. 

First year DMU student Alicia Santamaria, who is a member of DMU Music Society, said: ”It felt exciting, this was the first time I experienced this. I have heard the bands that perform for DMU, and they are really good. I even voted for one of them to represent us tonight.”

The bands performed both covers and original songs with different genres, the most popular one being rock.

It was a perfect night to bring two universities together through a common interest for music. 

All performing bands from DMU and UoL together on stage at the end of the night.

After impressive performances from both universities, DMU ended up bringing back the trophy for the Varsity music competition.

To view performances, visit:

Gazelle lead singer Ryan Dunn on effect of lockdown: “It really put a spanner in the works”

By Samuel Gill

Lockdown has affected many businesses, such as the entertainment sector, with live music having no potential roadmap in sight for bands to return to venues since the lockdown earlier this year in March.

Ryan Dunn is lead singer for the Leicester-based band Gazelle who, as well as a following in their home city, started to gain major traction further afield before lockdown.

Speaking about the effect of the lockdown from their perspective, he admits that there were big plans in the offing.

“Just before lockdown, we had a few things in the pipeline that were looking really good for us. There were television appearances and a few festivals so it really put a spanner in the works. It was quite annoying to be honest. We’re just hoping we can continue that when we get back,” said Dunn.

A lockdown demo was released by the band called This is My England ahead of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and this time has led to music being made differently including for Dunn and Gazelle.

“I’ve been writing a lot of new music and getting a few tunes down so I suppose in that respect, it’s been a bit of a blessing to get that time to write some new tunes.

“I think you can be a bit more experimental. I think it’s a time you can reflect and try and work out how you stand and hone your skills a bit more.”

Dunn’s last gig was at The Cookie back in March as a solo acoustic set with The Magic Mod, a sign which still adorns the venue today and like many, he didn’t think it’d be this long since his last gig.

He added: “To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to think at the time. I wasn’t too worried about it. I was a bit reluctant to go into lockdown so it was nice to get that last gig in and I definitely didn’t expect it to be almost a year. If you actually go by the Cookie, The Magic Mod is still there, it’s a bit weird to see.”

PRECURSOR: Ryan Dunn on stage at The Cookie before lockdown – Photo – Robert O’Brien/ Snake Oil Music News

So how does he see the future of live music and venues? Dunn believes it has been an apparent issue since lockdown began.

“I don’t think they’re doing enough to protect venues, pubs or any sort of small business. I think they jump to put us into lockdown too quickly sometimes and don’t stop to think of the consequences it has on the businesses.”

The Cookie set to close amid Coronavirus outbreak

By Samuel Gill

The Cookie in Leicester is the latest venue to close it’s doors amid the Coronavirus outbreak as the music industry becomes one of the big losers in the global pandemic.

Based in the High Street, it acts as a bar and a gig venue, very popular for seeing up and coming acts with the likes of Tom Grennan and DMA’s among others previously gracing the stage in its basement.

Many venues not only in this city but across the country have either closed their doors until further notice, like the Cookie, or just are taking it gig by gig after the Government’s advice to ban mass gatherings.

The venue released the following statement earlier today urging their customers to follow the advice given to them regarding the virus.

“It’s with great sadness that under the current government guidelines, we must close The Cookie until further notice.

As always the safety and health of staff, customers and artists is of the upmost importance. This incredibly difficult decision has not been made lightly.

We hope this closure will be short lived and we can welcome you back very soon. We strongly encourage you to follow the advice of Public Health Officials and as always we appreciate your support during this difficult time for all.”

With such gigs as October Drift and Wide Eyed Festival to come in the next few months, the venue have also been quick to say that all ticket holders will be contacted about a ticket shift or a refund.

University student’s career soared after opening for Denodriz Concert

image0 (1)Alwayne Campbell, 20 yrs old (left), Denodriz, 17 years old (middle) and Dami Sowunmi 20 yrs old (right)

by Khrista Davis

A Computer Systems Engineering student from Loughborough, Dami Sowunmi, has had major success since performing as the opening act for rapper Denodriz on January 30.

Dami is a self-made artist who has been doing music for over a year whilst balancing his University degree, he goes by the name of ‘Lyco’ and his music genre fits into the Afro-Rnb category, but it can also be associated with Smooth Trap and Soul.

He began to make music with friend Alwayne Campbell who goes by the name of ‘Wxyne’. Their management team also runs one of the most successful groups in the UK called ‘Lotto Boyzz’ and informed them about the opportunity to be the opening act to Denodriz.

Dami Sowunmi said: “I would say it was a big accomplishment and I am proud to have been given the chance. It was an amazing experience!

“In the past when I’ve been given the opportunity to perform on stage, fright always used to latch onto me but this time it was different.

“As I was up on that stage, I felt like it was where I belonged, the crowd cheering us on really helped boost my confidence as well as being the opening act for such a famous person. My career’s been boosted!”

Dami’s music partner, Alwayne Campbell added: “It was the best moment of my life so far, it reminded me why I’m doing music and solidified that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.”

As a result of this experience, Dami has been contacted for other performances soon, his songs have been played on Capital Xtra by DJ Semtex and he has made new connections as a result.

Dami hopes in the future to make more music videos and perform all over the country.

Dryden Street Social gripped by legendary Paul Woolford set

By Jacob Moseley

Leicester’s house and techno fanbase were gifted a night to remember last week by one of the best original rave-scene DJs to grace a pioneer.

You would think the 39-year-old may have lost his way around the new technology young DJs use today, but recently being premiered on Radio 1 by Annie Mac says otherwise.

As well as being considered an integral part of the UK’s highly popular Warehouse Project (WHP), Woolford performs worldwide, covering Europe and America.

Born in Leeds, he grew to love House and Techno music through going to the Back to the Basics nightclub. He now has his own record label named Intimacy, and is also a weekly resident at Space in Ibiza.

With Dryden Street Social decorated with colourful illumination productions, green shades, and glimmering drapes covering the audience, the music and crowd seemed to be “At One”.

Embracing aspects of improvised jazz through his collaborative work with Paul Hession and taking huge inspiration from the modern composition of Steve Reich, Woolford has managed to make a perfect blend of well-accompanied disco samples with house beats.

Woolford had the club-goers whistling for more after his funky two-hour set came to a close, and after previous DJs such as Mall Grab last year topped sales at Dryden Street, Woolford did not disappoint.

The next event at the Dryden Street Social is Horse Meat Disco, on Sunday, November 17, bringing classic disco vibes perfect for the two-stepping vodka drinker.

Woolford, also known as Special Request, has recently performed in Bristol and Manchester and will be going on a European tour early next year.

Paul Woolford