I had noticed the Attenborough Arts Centre building before but never actually knew what it was. So when they were kind enough to offer a free ticket to a performance (thank you!), I jumped at the chance to find out more. It is an arts centre inspired by Leicester legend David Attenborough, showcasing music, performing arts including theatre and comedy, exhibitions and workshops. It is the largest contemporary art gallery in Leicester. All events are reasonably priced with great discounts for students. I decided to go to a jazz performance by pianist Kit Downes joined by Petter Eldh on double bass and James Maddren on drums.
The arts centre is only a few minutes walk from uni, on Lancaster Road on the other side of the war memorial. The building is welcoming and cosy and has a nice café/bar area – it would be a great place to go for a cup of tea and a slice of cake during the day if you wanted to escape from the rush of the main uni campus. You can read some of the many magazines and brochures they have lying around and find out about what’s going on in Leicester.
So on to Thursday night and the Kit Downes Trio performance. I had brought my boyfriend with me and neither of us knew what to expect – I enjoy listening to jazz from time to time but couldn’t call myself a big fan. The performance was in the main hall which had tables dotted around which we could have a drink at. There was a very relaxed and intimate atmosphere with less than 40 people in the audience.
Kit, Petter and James are very talented musicians and it was captivating to listen to. Considering it was just three guys doing an acoustic set the sound was amazing. I especially liked the drummer and the effect he got using a brush (I just had to google this to check it was the correct terminology!). The music was very soothing to listen to and my mind drifted off to another planet. I was surprised that there were no brass instruments as that’s what I associate with jazz but it worked well without.
Overall it was a good evening and makes a big change from the usual student nights. I would recommend checking out what’s on at the Attenborough Arts Centre because they have a great variety of events and performances every week and it’s worth trying something different!