Festival season begun on bank holiday weekend when Leeds hosted lots of great new bands for the annual Live At Leeds. Lots of student radio favourites were on the bill, so we sent along Livewire’s Erin Bashford & Aled Vernon Rees to podcast the atmosphere of the festival for us.
York-based band Faux Pas opened the Oporto stage at midday. I was expecting a couple people in the room slowly nodding their heads focusing more on getting the first drinks of the day in than the music, however, this was far from reality. Instead, the local band packed the room, delivering crowd pleasing tight indie rock.
Bristol post punk band Idles performed one of the best sets of the day at The Key Club. The 25 minute raucous set involved a lot of shouting, moshing and members of the band suddenly diving into the audience. The highlight of the set occurred during the band’s face melting track ‘Well Done’, wherein a crowd surfer ended up on stage and introduced himself by saying he was from Sainsbury’s, unsurprising, given the Sainsbury’s uniform he was donning. What followed was a beautiful chant of ‘Sainsburys’; the crowd continued to hold up Sainsbury’s boy for the majority of the last song. It was a glorious set to witness.
Now a duo, now signed to Dirty Hit, and finally producing more of their modernised Britpop sound, Superfood have a lot to prove. And the headline slot at Nation of Shopkeepers deflates like a three-day-old helium balloon. It was a situation out of frontman Dom Ganderton and guitarist Ryan Malcolm’s control, though, as their set started late due to technical problems that marred the whole performance. Once they started, tunes from 2014’s debut lit up the crowd, the audience bopping and dancing to the funk-infused indie pop like it hasn’t been almost three years since the album was released. With the danceable track ‘Lily for Your Pad to Rest On’ from debut record and recent comeback single ‘Double Dutch’ on offer, unfortunately for the duo, problems with tech held the show back from what it could have been–and damn, could it have been good.
Get Inuit also provided a strong set, taking over the stage at the Key Club. Though hailing from Kent, the band clearly has a strong following in Leeds, with the audience singing and dancing along to numbers like ‘Teriyaki’. Eccentric lead singer Jamie was the centre piece of the show gifting the crowd with some interesting moves as well as covering himself in lipstick before diving into the popular closer ‘Pro-Procrastinator’.
At 9PM, the pre-headline act at Stylus took to the stage to the eerie whispers of ‘babes never die’ echoing through Leeds University’s SU. Honeyblood, Glaswegian duo formed of guitarist/vocalist Stina Tweeddale and drummer Cat Meyers, stormed through their 45-minute set, with their signature witty interactions with the crowd and their electric onstage chemistry. The gnarly riffs of ‘Ready For The Magic’ and danceable noise-pop of ‘Sea Hearts’ captivated the audience, with Stina and Cat running through the strongest tunes from both debut ‘Honeyblood’ and second album ‘Babes Never Die’.
Ones to watch: Aled
Leeds-based post-punk band Dead Naked Hippies emerged as one of the festival’s ‘One to Watch’. The set consisted of powerful female vocals, guitar and drums. Though the instruments were few, the band bought a massive sound to the packed Key Club. Having only released two singles, the band is fairly new yet already have such a big following. With clear influences from bands such as Nirvana and Savages this trio is certainly worth keeping your eye on.
Ones to watch: Erin
London-based three-piece Husky Loops are busy refuting their branding as ‘strange art-rock’. Alongside supporting bands such as Sunflower Bean and Estrons, the trio released their first EP a few weeks ago–and man, are they showing that they have something to prove. A half-hour set took us through their self-titled EP and unheard songs alike, the band’s nutty squawking guitar sounds reverberating throughout tiny venue Oporto. Frontman Danio led the band through the rampant set, with wacky and wonderful arrangements and raw riffs bouncing around the room. Certainly one of this year’s most interesting emergences, and one of this year’s bands to watch.