Live at Leeds Preview

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Live at Leeds takes over the city on the 4th May to give a platform the best underground music. Charley Weldrick takes a look at the lineup following the latest announcement of acts.

Flicking through the Spotify playlist for Live at Leeds, I’m struck by two things. The first is how eclectic a mix of different styles it is, the second is how many artists there are that I’ve never heard of before. A little bit of digging into their announcements revealed why that is.

Boasting 200 different acts, gracing 20 different stages all over Leeds, Live at Leeds has become a sprawling metropolis with something to please even the pickiest listener. Perhaps more impressive even than the number of acts, though, is their originality. 80% of the bands that make up the Live at Leeds lineup are classified as emerging talent. This is an ethos that delivers results for its performers, too, with previous acts including Stormzy and The 1975.

Topping the bill this year are electronic music group Metronomy, alongside the gravelly voiced singer/songwriter/indie heartthrob Tom Grennan, as well as returning favourite indie rock band Black Honey. Rock fans will also be pleased to see rising stars Dream Wife, a three-piece female rock band that started life as a college project, getting what could be their big break.

If you’re looking for something a little off the beaten track, check out Squid’s unique brand of “Psyched out math-pop”. These guys have been setting the DIY world alight and their spot at Live at Leeds is a testament to the festival’s dedication to showcasing the best up and coming acts, even if they’re a little unconventional.

Fresh on the heels of their sell-out tour, including Church, the 800 capacity venue here in Leeds, indie quartet Marsicians’ brand of feel good indie pop is much more of a return to form for the festival. For those looking for something a little heavier though, Teeff are not to be missed. A local two piece, their fuzzy guitar playing strikes a different chord to most of the acts playing this year, but their clear musical ability shows exactly why the Live at Leeds focus on emerging talent will pay off.

Those looking for something a little lighter should keep an eye out for up and coming pop four-piece Wild Youth, whose first single recently held the #1 spot on the Spotify Viral Chart for two weeks. Meanwhile, Wharf Chambers regulars should seek out Sad Boys Club’s ‘gothic indie live show’ if they’re hunting for something new to add to their playlists.

As with every year, there’s something for everyone. Plus, as with every year, you’ll no doubt miss half the acts you want to see. Do yourself a favour and make sure that isn’t the case for Teeff or Squid.

Click here for tickets.

Charley Weldrick