Jellyskin: Six Degrees Of Local Leeds

They say that no matter who you are, you’re only six people away from everyone else in the world. With odds like that, your new favourite band could be right around the corner… or just a click away!

Six Degrees Of Local Leeds aims to get the inside scoop on the best of the Leeds scene from the people who really know; the bands themselves. Each instalment, we ask an artist to nominate the musicians they think are killing the game right now, as well as digging into why small shows and intimate venues are so important.

This week we’re talking to Jellyskin; a genre-defying duo bringing together everything from electronica to pop to krautrock.

They’re a hard act to pin down. With a hefty set of influences spanning everything from dubstep to sixties girl groups, they’ve managed to find a sound that is wholly their own, though it is constantly evolving. Having built an ardent following in just a little over a year with their almost shoegaze-esque dream pop, 2018 has seen some of those softer edges get sanded away, with the two moving towards full-on “aggressive industrial-tinged bangers”.

Fans won’t have to wait long to see the results of this shift, as their newest single “Judder” is set to be released April 6th, complete with a music video filmed at a venue all Leeds students will be familiar with: Hyde Park Picture House. Directed by Dylan Hayes, the band are adamant that both the video and the single are “the best thing [they’ve] ever done” so you’re not going to want to miss it.

Having been invited to perform with acts of all genres all over the country, they are quick to point out that they don’t exactly feel part of a scene, but their knowledge of what is going on in Leeds right now is impeccable none the less. Hookworms and Team Picture get honourable mentions for making the city what it is, along with their pick for the next act we should feature, but they also give credence to the events and venues that set the city apart:

“Like all big Northern cities,” they say “there’s loads of stuff always happening at brilliant venues and nights – but with Leeds, it feels almost homely. We adore the Brudenell, Mabgate Bleach, and Chunk, and nights like Come Thru, Love Muscle and Cosmic Slop, who organize parties for fantastic causes whilst also helping the independent scene to thrive.”

As for their own experiences with smaller venues, they struggle to pick just one. Small venues are “the natural stepping stones to greatness”, and they’ve had brilliant nights in places with a small cap as both performers and punters. For Will, it was a Fat Whites show at the Trades Club which stood out the most, as “it had everything you want from a gig: hench sound, spitting, an amazing support [in] Meatraffle, and it threatened to turn into a brawl at one point.” For Zia, it was seeing “Lucius in 2014, in the small room of the O2 Academy in Liverpool”.

Why? “There couldn’t have been more than 100 people there. For the last couple of songs, they performed in the middle of the floor, with everyone crowded around them and no amplification. Jess and Holly started crying because they couldn’t believe people had actually come to see them in a city that was so far from their home. It was one of those really lovely moments where you’re reminded of the power of music.”

It’s clear that Jellyskin are going to get the recognition they so richly deserve this year, but who do they think deserve an even bigger spotlight? For them, the obvious answer is GIRL SWEAT, a 6-foot-5 electronic artist with curly hair and a penchant for floor-length gold cassocks.

Calling him “one of the most incredible live acts [they’ve] ever experienced”, the duo maintains that “it’s an absolute crime that more people don’t know about him.” Luckily, he has a whole host of stuff online to dig into, and an April show at the Lending Room for those who can’t wait to learn more.


Rhiannon-Skye Boden

Photo Credit: Casey Orr