Richard 3rd; An APOLOGY

So King Richard lll or ‘tricky dickie’, as he is sometimes, affectionately, known as here in Leicester, is confirmed as being the bones in the car park.

The car park, at Gray Friars, is very close to the ‘Shakespeare’ public house, a short distance from the ‘Last Plantagenet’ pub and not too far from King Richard lll road. Later years, the building around the car park housed Leicester City Council Social Services department and is flanked by a considerable number of hostelries and popular bars.

Over a weekend, the area is particularly busy, with young and old partaking in copious amounts of liquid refreshments and all having to relieve themselves of ‘spent’ alcohol, mostly in the appropriate place, some, however, in all to public a  place, such as: doorways, alleyways and the odd car park.

Before I continue, I need to make it absolutely clear that I have not felt the need to relieve myself in such a public manner, on the streets of this wonderful, historic, City of Leicester!

The thought that some unsuspecting persons, let’s say, for the sake of argument, some boisterous history students from the University of Leicester, have, should we say, ‘watered’ the head of the last Plantagenet, is amusing, sad and ever so slightly sick!

Maybe now is the time for these people to search their souls in regret at such an outrageous act of humiliation against a former Monarch of the realm. It is also an appropriate time it for others, such as myself, to review their actions; how many, I wonder, have walked on Richards grave or parked their car on top of ‘Those lovely bones’? Well, it is with huge regret and shame that I, quite possibly, could have done both! (although, I can promise you, I have never danced in any part of Gray Friars car park!).

In the spirit of this momentous occasion, I would like to offer an apology to the family and friends of King Richard III for my indiscretions, in my defence I would just say that I did not notice the large ‘R’ inscribed in paint on the tarmac directly above Richard’s grave, the significance of which was, in hindsight, fairly obvious.


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The Strangler Figs

Popped along to The Musician on Friday (28th Feb 2014), one of Leicester’s premier live music venues offering new acts as well as established ones, a chance of getting down close and personal, with a knowledgable and appreciative audience. I went along with one purpose in mind, to find out more about a local band… The Strangler Figs.

I had previously heard them at The Exchange  in Leicester, at an event designed to give talent, both new and old, a chance of playing to a substantial crowd at this years Western Park Music Festival. There were some good acts on that night, I had gone to support Sam Bradshaw, a solo experimental guitarist I had come to know. Sam was at his provocative best and well worth seeing. Sam, along with Becky, a great soloist, made it a really good night.

I had been sat by a group of young lads who appeared a little nervous. When asked, they told me they were the first ‘band’ on that evening and that their name was ‘The Strangler Figs’.

The Strangler Figs are a five piece outfit from Leicester, Hinckley and a smattering of Wigan. They are brothers Joe and Freddie Pickering on guitar/vocals and keyboard respectively, Joel Hanson on double bass James Lyons on drums and Rosie Price on backing vocals. they told me they were once asked if they were a ‘Stranglers’ tribute band. Well I can tell you with certainty they are not!

Moments before their gig I passed two of the band members of the stairs, they looked a little concerned, which made me wonder if they would get up and play. I need not have been concerned.

They took to the stage amid mutterings of… ‘look at the size of that double bass’ (True, the double bass did look huge! huge enough to make a cello look like a fiddle.) As they tuned-up and began their set, it was clear, any nervousness was channelled right back into their music; enough to be edgy, enough to be different.

The Strangler Figs set started with a cover of The Pixies ‘Where is My Mind’, which they owned, and included a memorable  rendition of Jungle Books ‘King of the Swing’ which demonstrated both their expertise and their sense of humour. After a couple of their own numbers the set was, all too soon, over.

They left the stage as true professionals and true to the principle of ‘leave them wanting more’. I wanted more, hence popping in to The Musician on Friday… and I’m very glad I did!

You can see The Strangler Figs at The Donkey on Wed 5th March

STOP PRESS: Strangler Figs to play at Simon Says 2014

Video courtesy of DemonFM:




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