live at leeds

live at leedsAs Live At Leeds draws nearer, we take a look at some of the acts on the bill whose names might be familiar just yet, but we can guarantee will be in a year or two.

In the scheme of things, inner city festivals are a reasonably new occurrence. Providing both a platform local artists, as well as a chance to see some bigger names in an intimate setting, the likes of The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Liverpool Sound City have fast become an intrinsic part of festival season in much the same way as Reading & Leeds or even Glastonbury. Live At Leeds is no exception.

Much like its southern-based, almost-counterpart The Great Escape, Live At Leeds as a festival attracts as much industry as it does the public, allowing tastemakers a chance to check out acts that might otherwise have gone under their radar while introducing festival-goers to a host of bands they might otherwise overlook at bigger, more traditional festivals. In our second preview, we introduce you to some of those bands.


Start the day with a band as local lads Furr take to the stage to ply their trade and melt your faces with a their effortless blend of Queens of the Stone Age riffage and Weezer style vocal melodies. Leeds has always been a city with both grunge and indie-pop at its heart, Furr manages to successfully embody to the two in to something both accessible and at times, heavy as hell.

Chest Pains

Following that, take a trip up to The Lending Room to catch another act local to Leeds, Chest Pains. Comparisons to early Strokes material might never be far away from the fuzz-loving garage rockers, but there’s an energy and urgency behind the band that would be difficult for Cassablancas and co to emulate. Some might call it youthful exuberance, others might recognise it as the type of energy endemic to the Leeds scene. Catch them at The Lending Room at 1pm to make your own mind up.


The first band on the list from outside of Leeds, Hull’s LIFE made our Artist of the Day just recently, and it’s easy to see why. Uncompromising in their delivery, and punk as fuck in their attitude, the four-piece are as propulsive as they are politically astute, and as such will likely be one of the most vital of sets this coming weekend. They play Leeds Beckett SU (Dr Martins Presents Stage) at 2pm.


Hailing from London, Blackwaters are a band who should need little introduction. Having already impressed tastemakers up and down the country thanks to a handful of shows with UK promoters This Feeling, Blackwaters blend of ferocious punk delivery and indie ideals has allowed them to settle in to a niche occupied by the likes of False Heads and Fat White Family. Uncompromising yet utterly irresistable. They tear Nation of Shopkeepers a new one at 5pm.

October Drift

Another band who should need little introduction, Sheffield/Taunton’s October Drift have been steadily making a name for themselves over the past couple of years thanks to their captivating and chaotic live shows. Fresh back from their tour of Europe, it’s only a matter of time before the band go stratospheric, catch them this weekend at The Lending Room for major bragging rights.

The Opera Comic

Harbouring much more of a pop sensibility than many of the bands above, Leeds-based five-piece The Opera Comic are the perfect antithesis if the weight gets a bit too much. Their most recent single A Time of Hope explodes with the kind of technicolour optimism that’s impossible not to crack a smile too. Richly uplifting, it’s unlikely that enigmatic nature of the band will last too much longer, so make sure you catch them at Church before one of Leeds best kept secrets become one of the city’s best loved exports.

The Golden Age of TV

Arguably one of the most emergent bands on this list, the art-pop peddled by The Golden Age of TV is both beguiling and beautiful. Opening the DIY stage over at Leeds institution The Brudenell Social Club, you can expect a set of mesmering pop gems with more than a touch of psychedelia thrown in for good measure. Young they might be, but the chemistry the band possess is impossible to ignore and you could do much worse than kickstarting your day with a set from these guys.


Leeds indie-poppers Marsicans are a band who once again, should need little introduction, both in their hometown of Leeds, and further afield. The four-piece have earned their reputation through impossibly energetic live shows, and a pop sensibility that’s impossible to ignore. With legions of fans in mainland Europe as well as across the UK, the band’s repuation is indeed something that proceeds them, but catch them live and you’ll know exactly why. They kickstart proceedings at LUU Stylus at 5:30 PM.


Yet another band whose penchant for pop is matched only by their youthful exhuberence, much like Marsicans and indeed The Opera Comic, Clay are part of a new guard of Leeds bands that forgo the weight with which their city is synonymous in favour of deftly delivered melodies and hooks that wouldn’t be out of place in the charts. The energy these guys have on stage is nothing short of impressive. Catch them at Leeds Beckett SU at 5:30 PM.

Faux Pas

York’s Faux Pas are a band who deftly balance a snotty punk energy with the sugary nature of indie pop. The result is a sound that manages to perfectly encapsulate your teenage years; innocence juxtaposed against the first and somewhat confusing steps of adulthood. They open the Too Many Blogs stage at city centre venue Oporto at 12pm.


Live At Leeds takes place at venues across Leeds between the 28th and the 30th of April, with the main event taking place on Saturday the 29th. Future Islands will officially open the festival on the 28th and Maximo Park will close the festival on the 30th.

Live At Leeds takes place at venues across Leeds between the 28th and 30th of April, for more information and tickets check out the website here.

Dave Beech is a music writer based out of Manchester. Links to his work can be found over at his blog, Life’s A Beech, as well as his Louder Than War author’s archive. He tweets as @Dave__Beech.

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