At the risk of sounding like a reject Carlsberg advert, festivals, in whatever variation of the format they come in, are about memories (cue sentimental cheersing of glimmering pints in dubious looking sunshine). Whether it be 2010 when The Twilight Sad packed out Brudenell Social Club early afternoon with choice cuts from Forget The Night Ahead, the now sadly defunct Trash kicking off our very own stage with their brilliant reverb-laden pop, Wild Beasts triumphant homecoming off the back of Two Dancers success or the many times Los Campesinos! have stolen the show, over the years Live at Leeds has constantly delivered moments of magic that linger in the memory.
With just a number of days to go to 2018’s iterations, there’s plenty to get excited about – bloody promoters! Booking gem studded lineups for our enjoyment – here’s our guide to what should be on your radar for this year’s festival.
As with any festival, there is one burning question: Where to start your day? You couldn’t go far wrong with nipping up to Brudenell Social Club to catch post-punk noise nicks FEHM open up DIY stage, but if that doesn’t suit there’s plenty of choice. An exciting prospect is local indie heartthrobs The Orielles, whose exceptional debut Silver Dollar Moment has just dropped via Heavenly, being first on at Holy Trinity Church. Get down early for this one as it’s bound to packed and it’s a venue that in previous years has had very limited space. Elsewhere, hotly-tipped GRDNS will be opening up TMB’s very own stage at Nation of Shopkeepers, while many are sure to be packing out The Wardrobe to catch Idles for what is sure to be an brutal, intense and visceral set.
Speaking of Brudenell Social Club, and DIY’s two stages that will be there throughout the day, there’s plenty to be said for heading up towards Hyde Park and hunkering down there as the lineup is filled with great acts. Featuring members of three of Leeds’ finest musical institutions Grammatics, Menace Beach and Pulled Apart By Horses, Magic Mountain have just released a belter of a single on the excellent Come Play With Me label – musical heritage and gravitas a side the band’s blend of psych and noise is a fabulous concoction. Also gracing the DIY’s two stages are Hatchie, Nelson Can, Pip Blom and Anteros.
Just a hop, skip and a jump down past Leeds University lies The Church stage, where Dork are hosting a stage, a stage featuring one of, in our humble opinion, the year’s biggest draws. Last year, The Horrors arguably released one of 2017’s best singles in Something To Remember You By, a track that fine-tuned the band’s elegant tip-toe between shoegaze, post-punk and New Order-esque synth pop, not a mean feat considering that the five-piece has been releasing brilliant records since 2009. The Church stage also features Krrum, Bad Sounds and Stereo Honey.
At past Live At Leeds, Leeds Beckett Union has hosted some of the festivals stand out sets (Hookworms, Wild Beasts etc) and this year looks set to be now different. On Stage Two, and FFO of Doe and Weezer, Canadian duo Partner are ones to watch out for if you’re a fan of huge choruses and big riffs. Also appearing are Phoebe Green, Forever Cult and Queen Zee. On the main stage, it’s big hitters aplenty with Ash opening the stage at 3:30pm, being followed later in the day by the ever great Spring King, festival regulars Pulled Apart By Horses and British Sea Power, whose headline set is sure to contain a hefty chunk from the much coveted album Let The Dancers Inherit The Party which lit up 2017 with its quality.
For those fidgets inclined to duck and weave inbetween the wealth of Leeds’s venues there is plenty of exploring to be done. Fresh from releasing one of this year’s finest out and out pop records, Rae Morris will be headling Belgrave Music Hall from 11pm, and not an unreasonable distance away triple header of Fizzy Blood, Demob Happy and The Xcerts will be seeing The Key Club’s stage out in style. Heading back up towards Hyde Park Book Club at 3pm to catch Dream Nails is a cast-iron guarantee of seeing one of the best sets of the weekend.
As always, Live at Leeds has delivered a stellar lineup of music that stretches far and wide across the musical landscape of the city. From Brudenell Social Club down to The Wardrobe there’s a whole array of wonderful music that is sure to set pulses racing. See you down at the front?