Beacons Metro preview
Beacons Metro is the recent transmutation of Beacons Festival; this used to be a traditional camping festival in August, but the organisers, in keeping with complaints that the traditional camping experience was too expensive for festival-goers, transformed it into a series of gigs, taking place across the glorious city of Leeds. If you’re bored and looking for something to do in the next couple of weeks, why not grab a ticket to one of the gigs? We give you the lowdown on the who’s who at Beacons Metro 2016.
Dinosaur Jr @ Stylus, 26/10/16
Dinosaur Jr. are an alternative rock band mainly known for their 1987 record You’re Living All Over Me. The album stands as one of the most unique and influential records from the late-1980s underground rock scene, presenting a style which was a mix of early Shoegaze, Noise Rock, and Alternative, which only the band themselves have been able to tastefully recreate. The band has been referred to as the forefathers of modern Shoegaze, Indie Rock, and even Lo-Fi Rock, and even to this day they have yet to release a significantly negatively-received album, despite having 11 studio albums to date. Zack Moore
Boxed In @Headrow House, 27/10/16
Oli Bayston, the man responsible for Boxed In, has been here there and everywhere. He’s produced and worked with Lily Allen, 2 Bears and Lianne La Havis and his new solo project has created a well-deserved hype. Boxed In brings electronic, dance, funk, and indie pop with a mix of funky keyboard riffs, running bass and catchy guitar lines. In his own right Bayston is making waves and Boxed In are definitely one to keep an eye on. The self-titled debut album has received high praise and the live shows are not to be missed. Energetic, funky party vibes guaranteed. Hannah Mason
Fucked Up @ Belgrave, 27/10/16
The Canadian hardcore punk band are gracing Leeds with their head-banging, guitar-smashing presence, bringing their big and bold sound to Belgrave Music Hall. Their sound blends Pixies-esque quick-paced guitars with screamo vocals, creating a disjunction of sound that certainly isn’t easy to fall into, but grabs you by the earholes and brings you in. Pixies comparisons are quite hard to fall into, but given singer Sandy Miranda’s contribution of softer, naïve-sounding female vocals, one could be forgiven for drawing such a line between the two bands.
The Invisible @ Headrow House, 28/10/16
Pinning a genre onto The Invisible has proven something of a nightmare. From their humble origins as the side project of singer/guitarist Dave Okumu, the London trio have proceeded to smash together art rock and funk across three stellar albums, with surprisingly danceable results. This month sees The Invisible touring their latest release Patience, admittedly a softer and more electronically produced endeavour, yet still highlighting the percussive drive and jarring guitar riffs of their self-titled debut. The band hit the intimate Headrow House next Friday, promising to fill the space with ambient synth and gut-busting grooves. Get down and see if you can pin a genre on the ever evolving sound of The Invisible; few have managed yet. Sam Corcoran
Ghetts @ Belgrave, 28/10/16
Leeds gets a taste of real East London grime with Ghetts’ show at Belgrave. Mates with Kano and NASTY Crew, Ghetts’ (FKA Ghetto) sound will get the bass pumping all the way up your feet and out the top of your head, forcing your feet into a skank on the way up. Known for his intricate and well-spun lyrics, this is seen most prominently in Ghett’s most famous tune ‘One Take’, which has over 1m plays on Spotify. That alone should convince you that this is one not to miss.
Hookworms @ Holy Trinity Church, 28/10/16
Psychedelic-punk fusion band Hookworms still remain massively underrated despite having two acclaimed albums under their belts. Famed for their intense, thrashing sound mixed in with atmospheric synthesiser and reverb, the Leeds locals’ set in Holy Trinity Church will make for an intriguing dynamic that can’t be missed. Fans of Yak or The Wytches will be in for a treat here. Get there early for experimental samplers Virginia Wing. Having just released new single a few weeks ago, raging electronic belter Local Loop, their set is sure to be something very exciting. Isobel Moloney
Lady Leshurr @ Belgrave, 30/10/16
The Brummie Grime princess has had a whirlwind of success in the past year. ‘Queen’s Speech 4’ went viral earlier this year, reminding us all to brush our teeth and make sure our lips don’t look like crispy bacon. On stage, Leshurr has a sparse set-up, with two dancers and an MC behind her, leaving her space to do what she does best: freestyle. She is irrepressibly current, doing it for the ladies in the very male-dominated grime scene. Referencing snapchat, snapbacks and Instagram likes in her lyrics, it’s not hard to see why, when she combines it with a hard, driving beat, she has boomed into the collective musical consciousness.
Shock Machine @ Headrow House, 30/10/16
Reminiscent of the chirpy pessimism of Foster The People, Shock Machine was only birthed onto the music scene earlier this year. It is the brainchild of former Klaxons keyboard player, James Righton; this new moniker has clearly allowed a great deal more freedom for Righton. Breaking away from the driving electro-pop of his previous band, Shock Machine provides a chilled out soundtrack to a lazy Sunday spent in bed, or those weird afters you promised yourself you wouldn’t get dragged to again, and yet here you are. It’s trippy, swirling and fabulous.
Anna Meredith @ Belgrave, 1/11/16
Anna Meredith is primarily a composer of electronic music, with her special commission for the BBC Proms in 2008 launching her into the public’s sphere of consciousness. Her pieces are brash, bawdy, and really bloody loud. Take ‘Nautilus’, for example; the beat swirls around into its next phase, maintaining a high volume, the low frequencies making it incredibly ominous. In contrast, ‘Something Helpful’ is intricate and delicate, giving us more hype than volume. With support provided by the quirky, almost theatrical experience that is Let’s Eat Grandma, this promises to be a spectacular show.
Cat’s Eyes @ Howard Assembly Room, 2/11/16
What happens when you combine front man of the Horrors, Faris Badwan and Italian- Canadian soprano and multi-instrumentalist Rachel Zeffira? The answer is Cat’s Eyes, an alternative rock collaboration that has everything you could ever hope from this dream team. The duo work harmoniously to create the perfect combination of grungy darkness, balanced by a hauntingly beautiful romanticism. Phoebe Berman
Krrum @ Headrow House, 3/11/16
Leeds local lad Krrum has become something of a local legend in the recent year; his big beard and glasses combo has made him difficult to miss, and if you’re around in Headingley during the day, you might be lucky enough to spot him in Sainsbury’s doing his food shop. Krrum sounds as if he’s taken Bon Iver and James Blake’s recent collaboration on ‘I Need A Forest Fire’ and fed it through several drum machines to give it a heavier makeover. ‘Evil Twin’ is guaranteed to have you jumping in the air and waving your hands around; his cover of Flume’s ‘Never Be Like You’ makes it ominous and desperate, adding a new dimension to this year’s festival banger. Go along for a ride.
Novelist @ Belgrave, 3/11/16
Nominated for the Best Grime Act in the 2014 MOBO Awards, Novelist has more than proved his worth. His name alone demonstrates his impressive capability at scripting and sculpting difficult lyrics around a heavy beat, still allowing it to flow and push as he sees fit. With his standout track ‘1Sec’, he pays homage to his native Lewisham, giving a nod to his roots and giving a “come at me” to all those who dare to challenge his status as one of the stand-out UK grime acts of the past few years.
Margaret Glaspy @ Headrow House, 6/11/16
Margaret Glaspy was born in California but moved to New York at a young age; the musical spirit of both states are evident in her raw, bluesy guitar sounds. She cites Joni Mitchell’s Blue as a prime inspiration for her music. This is traceable in her deeply personal yet highly abstract lyrics, which could at once apply to her and to anyone. Her honeyed tones drip over the guitar, providing a softer contrast but demonstrating her vocal capabilities with such ease that you can’t help but be impressed by her.
Local Natives @ Stylus, 7/11/16
Evoking the very crafted sound of Grizzly Bear, Local Natives’ very collaborative method of creation weaves a dreamlike atmosphere that almost drugs you and pulls you under into a fairytale forest of their own weaving. With their third album out this year, Local Natives have earnt the right to play at Stylus, one of Leeds’ most prestigious venues, previously hosting the likes of Ezra Furman, Spring King and Django Django.
Beacons Metro, now in its second year features an eclectic line-up of forward thinking events from the worlds of pop, experimental, psych, grime, techno and more.