The Vinyl Throwbacks - Leicester Pride Review

The main stage was opened at 14:15 by the Lord Mayor and featured a lineup of singers, dancers and groups and two bands, The Vinyl Throwbacks and Leicester's The Heroes. Musically there was something for everybody and the crowd represented a wide cross section of tastes.

The Heroes arrived on stage at 6.30 p.m., their appearance being proceeded by a stage full of drag queens singing songs from the Village People. The band launched into its pulsating hit Blue Rave, which certainly got some sections of the audience dancing.

The Heroes put on a good set, apart from Alex Totman's string breaking, and the sound not being as good as it was for the other acts. Not sure why because when the other band played it was ok.

It was good that The Heroes agreed to play Leicester Pride. In 2005 Leicester pop punk band ICTUS played on the main stage with a selection of rock bands and artists playing in the music tent. The gay community, however, is not noted for its devotion to rock, since all the venues play an unvarying diet of cheesy pop and RnB and rarely invite live music on to their stages. So, full marks to the Pride organisers for giving musicians places on the lineup, when so many other acts sang to backing tracks.

The crowd did however warm to the classic rock covers of the Vinyl Throwbacks, indicating that there is a body of people who enjoy the great songs of the past. The band put on a well played, entertaining set which captured the attention of the crowd.

The response of the crowd to the Heroes, however, was not as enthusiastic as would have been predicted. Neither were band members that keen on the experience. At least two band members told us, after the set, that they wouldn't want to play a Pride event again. Whilst some Heroes fans turned up to see the band, and also a few members of other Leicestershire bands, others stayed away because they "didn't want to go to a gay event". Hence, the need for Pride, because whilst most people's attitudes have changed, there are still some who are prejudiced.

Pride was however supported by Leicester City Council and petty much all of our local MPs. Artists who are not gay are keen to play at Pride events and being gay is not a criteria for being selected for the main stage.

The move away from Victoria Park to Belgrave Gate was seen by many as being successful and indeed the idea of an open, free street party saw not only a large chunk of the gay community turning up to enjoy the fun but also a wide cross section of the general public. In a city dedicated to diversity, it is laudable that Pride has returned to complement the annual programme of festivals

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