Folk band The Portraits in musical homage to Leicester
An alternative folk band have penned a song about Leicester – and are asking fans to help complete the recording when they play in the city next month.
The Portraits will perform their song Difference – inspired by singer Lorraine Reilly's experience of living in the city while she was at university here in the mid-1990s – for the first time at their gig at The Musician on March 3.
Lorraine said she wanted to give the "gift of a song for Leicester" to pay tribute to the city, as her time here inspired her musically and helped pave the way to an appearance at Glastonbury festival in 2011.
At the gig, the audience themselves will record the final layer of voices to complete the song and the finished version will be released as a free digital download on the band's website the day after the show.
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Irish-born Lorraine, who now lives in London, said her time in Leicester provided her with her first real taste of other cultures when she made her home here while taking a teacher training course at De Montfort University.
"To get to the centre from where I lived, you'd walk down Melton Road and everywhere I moved there were exotic sights, sounds and scents," she said.
"My limited experience suddenly exploded into something magic and I was captivated.
"It was the biggest eye-opener for me – I didn't even know what Diwali was before I came to Leicester. I learnt an awful lot in the year I was there, it made a big impression on me."
Lorraine's time in the city sparked a love affair with Asia and she went travelling to help disadvantaged children in countries such as Burma.
The Portraits – Lorraine and pianist Jeremy Millington – were formed out of her wish to relate her experiences to audiences back in the UK.
"We've been lucky enough to meet some incredible people and to see how life treats some people very unfairly. That is what inspires us to write," she said.
"For me, our Leicester appearance will represent a true homecoming and our new song is my way of expressing thanks to a brilliant city."
The Portraits play at The Musician, in Clyde Street, in the city centre, on March 3. Tickets are £6 in advance, or £8 on the door. Call 0116 251 0080 or visit: