A bank holiday weekend done right over in Leicester as Handmade Festival took over the O2 Academy for the weekend.
For those who aren’t fully aware of Handmade it’s an independent music and arts festival based in Leicester and is curated by local promotors and venues around the Leicester area, six years on the festival is still going strong.
As mentioned earlier that festival takes place in O2 Academy Leicester but with the closure of one of the rooms earlier this year the second stage took place in Union Square (University Of Leicester Student Union) which is all still linked together and it was probably the most packed the building has ever been we were lucky enough to catch some great bands on the stage over the weekend like Indoor Pets, Kagoule (who were literally added on the day) The Big Moon, and the soon to be punk legends IDLES who closed out the stage on the Sunday night, it’s safe to say they were the highlight of everybody’s weekend, they actually appeared at last years festival on a lower spot on the bill playing Academy 1 and a year later they are headlining the second stage it just shows the progression this band has had.
One great thing about this festival is the showcase of great local talent around the Leicester area band like Earls and Superego were one of the smaller stages in the Attenborough Arts Centre which was just down the road but the main stage in Academy 1 had it’s fair share of local talent with the likes of Easy Life and Magique two very great bands from Leicester who have been all over the festival circuit recently and it was nice to see them stop in their hometown, the performances showed that these bands put on showed that their is in fact so much more great music coming out Leicester than just Kasabian. We also came across with a few bands with a slightly heavier sound as well, Black Futures and Dinosaur Pile-Up were two bands that put on quite powerful sets these bands really did kick things up a notch.
Lets talk headliners, there were a few people around that were quite excited for the return of Drenge after all it was one of their first headline sets in three years so there was a reason to get excited for them, and they showed they haven’t lost in in the past couple years the band have been quiet. Closing out the weekend was Circa Waves who did put on a great performance however during the first half of it they seemed to be overshadowed by IDLES over in Union Square as most people were watching them.
If you ever get the chance we highly recommend you go out Handmade next year it’s a festival that has grown so fast in the short space of time it’s been around and it is one of many examples of Leicester’s thriving music scene.
Photos: Corrine Rowell