If you examine the Live At Leeds schedule this year you’ll find that Ngod open the show at Nation Of Shopkeepers. They’re a band I’ve not previously heard of but they supported Embrace on their recent comeback tour and comments beneath their youtube video for demo track ‘King Of The World’ reveal a growing fanbase of people impressed by their live performance. It’s a mark of how this years Live At Leeds bill can boast amazing strength in depth.
King Of The World (Demo) by Ngod
The most cursory of glances then reveals that bands who could easily be late night headliners appear mid event – Dry The River at 2.45pm preceded by Gaz Combes at 1.30pm. The festival which beat off the likes of The Great Escape and Liverpool Sound City to win the coveted ‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ at the UK Festival Awards last year seems to have upped the anti once again.
The event takes place across multiple official venues including Belgrave Music Hall, Brudenell Social Club, Faversham, Hifi Club, Holy Trinity Church, Leeds College of Music, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds University, Leeds Town Hall, Nation of Shopkeepers, O2 Academy, Oporto, The Key Club and The Wardrobe. Some fringe gigs also take at venues including Black Swan, Hirst Yard, Milos, Selar Bar and Trinity Kitchen. Most are within short walking distance of each other which is just as well because even the best of planners will have to hot foot from one to the next to catch the bands they wish to see.
There’s always some unfortunate clashes at events such as these and perhaps the worst example this year is the dilemma that is presented by The Cribs at Town Hall whilst Thurston Moore plays the Dr Martens sponsored Beckett stage at 10pm. The Cribs hail from nearby Wakefield and have recently released their sixth studio album ‘For All My Sisters.’ On the announcement of their participation they released a statement in which Gary Jarmin said “We are really looking forward to headlining Live at Leeds. It’s cool because Leeds has always embraced us, and so to be asked to play our ‘comeback’ show headlining the festival is something that we are really looking forward to.”
Burning For No One by The Cribs
Thurston Moore needs no introduction. As head honcho in the seminal band Sonic Youth he gained a reputation for his guitar playing that saw him ranked 34th in Rolling Stone Magazine ’s 2004 edition of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Recent album ‘The Best Day’ proved that Moore has lost none of his knack for lyrical wordplay backed by repetitive guitar wailing, a sound that has spawned a host of imitators over the years.
Speak To The Wild by Thurston Moore
It’s going to be a long day for many with so many great notable performances stretched out across the main schedule which runs from noon until midnight. Carl Barât & The Jackals bring the main festival to a close (there’s other fringe events that run late into the night) at The Faversham pub. The punky swagger of Barât’s recently released album ‘Let It Reign’ has had the critics raving and with his trademark delinquent fervour he is sure to provide a fitting end to the festival proper.
Glory Days by Carl Barât & The Jackals
It won’t all be noise and bluster of course. Lucy Rose, whose new single ‘Our Eyes’ is released a day later will be charming the congregation at the beautiful Holy Trinity Church stage. She’ll be gig ready too having just completed a 15 date UK tour in March to mostly full houses.
It’s not all guitar music of course. There’s melodic rap with a political edge from George The Poet and rap/grime from Stormzy. Pop electronica is represented by the likes of Dutch Uncles whose recent album was very well received, including by our own reviewer (click HERE to read).
Some bands we’ve caught recently will be back on our radar. Hookworms produced one of the albums of 2014 and we caught them in Newcastle (reviewed HERE). We fear for our hearing but will be taking our earplugs to Beckett at 7.30pm because this is one band we would never choose to miss.
Radio Tokyo by Hookworms
An artist we did miss recently is Fraser Gorman. He opened for Courtney Barnett on her recent UK tour and our reviewer arrived too late to catch this charmingly offbeat singer songwriter from Torquay (the Australian one near Melbourne) who puts us in mind of the such gloriously barking Welsh singers such as Gruff Rhys and Euros Childs . If the schedule allows we shan’t be making the same mistake again.
Book Of Love by Fraser Gorman
There’s so much on the bill worth mentioning that we could go on and on and on …….. and at £27.50 Live At Leeds wristband Saturday represents amazing value for money. We shall be reporting back from the festival shortly after the 2nd May so if you can’t make it in person then check back here to see what you missed. But if you can go then we would urge you to make the short trip.
Previewer: Russell Poad