After being extra impressed with the festival last year we decided to return to Live at Leeds once again this year even before the stellar lineup was announced. With headliners The Vaccines and bands such as The Horrors, Peace, Circa Waves, The Magic Gang playing across the day amongst over 200 other artists across 20 stages, it was certainly a day packed with too many bands to choose from.
As with all metropolitan festivals, it’s always best to plan your day out and be sensible to fit as many bands in throughout the day as possible. Following last year’s discovery of how hilly Leeds is, my usual non-sensible approach to festivals went out the window. Starting off the day with Ash at Leeds Beckett Student Union went down with a bang. With their debut performance of new track ‘Annabel’ amongst other new tracks from their new album, they went down just as well among crowd pleasers such as ‘Girl From Mars’, ‘Shining Light’ and ‘Kung Fu’.
I’d been less impressed with Stereo Honey‘s singles beyond their fantastic debut single which was rather unfortunate, but my faith in the band was restored live. Their songs took on new forms and sounded far better in a live capacity. All heightened by the remarkable setting which is Church which is just as photogenic as you could imagine. Following this, we caught Nick J.D. Hodgson, also at the Church. Playing through tracks from his debut album, opening with the ever-so-catchy ‘Love The Way Your Mind Works’ and also throwing in two Kaiser Chiefs tracks for good measure, it was a fun performance.
I’d never heard of White Room until last week when I came across them on the off-chance at Portsmouth Psych Festival but I was so impressed by the band that I had to see them again at Live at Leeds regardless. Their catchy psychedelic rock filled Leeds Beckett Student Union (Room 2) and their dynamic, electric live performance proved once again that they’re a band you really should not miss live.
Pulled Apart By Horses didn’t fail to impress with moshpits aplenty and general raucous scenes. They’re on the heavier side of what I like, but they’re certainly a band you can’t miss. Quickly rushing up to the Church midway through Pulled Apart By Horses set I caught the last few minutes of Bad Sounds. I’m not exactly a fan of Bad Sounds, but I remember when we featured their debut single on here and I’d heard how fun they were live so decided to check them out regardless. The band had packed out the Church.
I was expecting to see The Horrors at this point for around 20 minutes or so due to their clash with British Sea Power, but The Horrors were so late that I unfortunately had to miss them. Thankfully this was the only big delay all day for me! Unfortunately British Sea Power‘s set was plagued with sound issues from the word go and it was rather distracting in places. This didn’t stop the band carrying on in spectacular fashion, even carrying on beyond their half 11 curfew with an impromptu outro following the majestic instrumental ‘The Great Skua’ and Martin ending up in the crowd. Certainly a way to end the night anyway.
Once again Live At Leeds has proven itself to be one of the better, bigger metropolitan festivals in the country, band, venue and organisation-wise. As a festival that which offers a wide range of music, there’s certainly something for everyone regardless of your taste and even if you turned up on the day without planning, I’m certain you’d find something you’d like.