This weekend was not only a sweltering bank holiday weekend for probably the first time in history but it was also the 11th annual Live At Leeds festival. With amazing venues across the city hosting bands of all genres it was set to be a great year! There were so many bands playing that it was hard to know where to start; luckily the app allowed you to schedule your day, with alerts popping up 15 minutes before each band was due to go on.
I started off at the Brudenell Social Club seeing Dublin trio Whenyoung. The Brudenell is a legendary, intimate venue and this year hosted the DIY stage in the main room, and the DIY Neu stage in the recently opened community room. Whenyoung played to a very sweaty room with lead-singer Aoife wearing leather trousers and guitarist Niall jumping around the stage in a full boiler suit, I can’t even imagine how they felt. Aoife’s voice is beautiful, it was so lovely to listen to and has made me go on to listen to them again and again. Their latest song ‘The Collector’ starts with a delicate guitar that continues until Andrew jumps in with a lively drum beat that the guitar then matches.
The Magic Gang played at the O2 academy, and they were great! The indie band from Brighton have had a lot of airplay recently and in certain songs sound very similar to Catfish and The Bottlemen. The lads from The Magic Gang put on a really good show with the crowd absolutely loving it: singing along to every song, jumping about and getting on shoulders to sing directly to the band with their arms wide. The band appeared to be blown away by this response, seemingly surprised and very appreciative that people were so into it, which was very endearing.
Later, The Horrors took to the stage at Church. It really is a beautiful venue, especially with the band having such fierce and flashing lights to go with their music. The strobe lights flashing over the arched stained glass windows looked incredible. The Horrors were good; they didn’t speak to the crowd much but the guitar-heavy songs seemed to please those who were very into it, pausing their dancing to fit in with the drops of the songs. Unfortunately, I had to leave The Horrors early to catch British Sea Power.
I saw British Sea Power at Glastonbury 2017 and it was awesome; the crowd had loads of good vibes the sun was shining and they seemed to fill the huge stage. This weekend though, it just wasn’t that good. I think it could have partly been because of the technical problems they were having, with high pitched interference running through songs and partly because they were playing at 10:30pm to a room of people that had been out for around ten hours in the hot sun. Whatever the reason, I was just left feeling a bit disappointed, especially as I had such a fond memory of seeing them before.
Overall, Live At Leeds was a good day out, and definitely offered value for money in terms of the huge talent on the bill. There were so many acts that I would have gone to see if I had the chance, and if I had not underestimated the walking time in the hot sun between venues. My tip for next year is to get a day rider and jump on the bus so you can make the most of the day.
Featured image shows Anteros, photographed by Andy Hughes