The Main Grains - The Soundhouse, Leicester, 26/08/2017

The Main Grains – The Soundhouse, Leicester, 26/08/2017

God Is In The Tv lensman Paul Reno and I have known each other a very long time, and tonight’s venue holds fond memories, for it used to be a pub called the Queen Vic (no, not that one), and we used to attend their Monday night karaoke most weeks, challenging one another to the ‘extreme’ version, which entails selecting each others’ songs so you have no idea what you’ll be attempting to sing until it appears on the screen.

That was back in the late 1990s and, if we’re perfectly honest here, the set up of the Soundhouse has hardly laid the ghosts of the Vic to rest. It is, in fact, practically identical.

Not that this fazes either of tonight’s bands too much, in an energy packed evening that is kicked off by Leicester’s very own powerhouse combo The Midnight Dogs. True, nobody could accuse the band of being pioneers of their art, but who cares? They perform an exciting, gritty brand of rootsy rock and roll, and despite the fact that onstage they deliver every cliche in the book (frontman Cass even unwittingly – or perhaps wittingly, if that’s even a word – mimicking the sleeve of Born To Run at one point), it somehow serves only to endear them even more to the sparse but vocal group of punters who have made their way into the city centre on this hot late summer’s evening. They really do have some belting tunes. Well worth checking out.

Onto the main event: “It could be worse“, jokes Danny McCormack, “I could have only had one leg.”

The former Wildhearts‘ bass supremo, and now frontman for his splendid new band The Main Grains, lost the lower half of his right leg as the result of an aneurysm that nearly killed him less than two years ago, hence the quip. You have to admire his spirit, which, I should imagine, suggests that he simply feels grateful and lucky just to even be here, so much so that you can all but FEEL the love in the room between artist and audience tonight.

The Main Grains themselves are quite wonderful, with one two and a half minute pop gem followed by another throughout a set that positively whizzes by. I always think you can judge how good a gig is by how often you find yourself checking what time it is, and tonight, I don’t even look once. From the sublime ‘Unscrewed‘ through last year’s storming anthem ‘I’d Rather Be In California‘ and a rousing version of ‘Teenage Kicks‘, right up to the brilliant finale of ‘Anthem‘, the focus is on that band/audience bond and the determination of the performers that everyone goes home feeling like they’ve had a bloody marvellous time. And we did.

Photo credit: Paul Reno

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.