Billed as a Multi-Venue City wide festival.
Showcasing the best emerging talent alongside established acts.
Twenty stages across the centre of Leeds, ranging from the O2 Academy and the Established Leeds Beckett stage to smaller more intimate venues Like the Wardrobe, The Chapel, and The Brudenell Social Club, as well as the Church and the Chapel. Although the festival has been established for twelve years this was my first time in attending what has become a must do pre-festival season event. Not knowing the centre of Leeds so well some help and guidance from the locals was sought and greatly received.
As I set off downtown Leeds for my first couple of bands who were playing the wardrobe, First up for me and opening proceedings for the day was the “Idles”. The band have been on my list to cover for a while, and I am glad to say they didn’t disappoint. One thing that is clear the band work so hard on stage, and off it with the amount of band audience participation. This was a set to enjoy, a chance to let yourself go, considering it was mid-day the full house certainly did that.
Next up was the Much talked about “The Blinders”. Another full house sees the band add to the cauldron already stirred by the “Idles”. One thing you get with the Blinders is they have an excellent raucous way of delivering their brand of psychedelic Punk Rock, its Raw and it’s on trend, eagerly eaten up by their ever growing army of fans.
Making my way back up to the Leeds Beckett stage for “ASH”, it was clear my lack of knowledge of the area, was going to be my biggest problem. “ASH” take to the stage to a very full venue and set about engaging the crowd as they blasted out their Indie Rock anthems, playing old favourites like “Oh Yeah” and “Girl from Mars”. For many they were a not to miss band on today’s schedule.
On leaving the pit I made my way over to the O2 Academy with many of the photographers who had been alongside me in the pit. As we wander into the venue passing the ques of fans wanting to get in to see “Sunset Sons”, once again there’s a reason people are prepared to que up to see a band who have put in the work, doing live gigs and polishing their style of infectious music.
Back over to the Leeds Beckett stage for a band I had been looking forward to for a while “FLING”, an eclectic and imaginative band, heavily influenced by the likes of TRex and Bowie, the band produce a Kaleidoscope of fun and catchy tunes.
I stumbled across “Hockey Dad” at Beckett stage 2, life long friends Zach Stevenson and Billy Fleming, caught my attention with a real indie rock vibe great vocals and fantastic music prowess, will certainly see these guys move forward in years to come. Another band on my Rota was “High Tyde” hailing from Brighton, having seen them support the “Hunna” earlier this year, it was great to see the band progress, with a sound that combines The 1975 and Two Door Cinema Club, their brand of Indie dance tunes will definitely make them a must see band for the future.
Next up is “The Magic Gang”, another band that resides on the south coast in Brighton.as has been the theme today at all venues it is pact to the rafters, certainly a firm favourite with the crowd, “Getting Along”, “Alright”, and “Your Love”, have the crowd raising the roof.
As I come back to the O2 Academy and the Leeds Festival Stage for its headliners “The Vaccines”, the ques are right down the street, this has not stopped anyone from waiting. There is always an air of excitement when the “Vaccines” Play and judging by the number of photographers wanting to get into the pit, its clear why they are a band you must see live. Having missed Leeds on their Combat sports tour it seems clear that they where to headline todays event, what you get from the “vaccines” is power, enthusiasm, along with one hell of a set list, once again the crowd have been entertained to by a band who know how to put on a show.
Live at Leeds is an awesome event, what it has taught me is that even though I didn’t get around as much as I would have liked, (Underestimated how wide the venues are apart), I need to come back and frequent some of the smaller venues for the future, what I am certain of is this is the beginning of my association with LAL. Do yourselves a favour put it on your schedule for next year……