“It’s a Friday night in Manchester and it’s gonna be a fucking good night.”
In one of the most infamous venues that Manchester has to offer, Irish singer songwriter Gavin James takes to the Gorilla stage to a screaming crowd. With nothing but a couple of guitars to aid him, the 25-year-old stands solo on stage. Tonight there are no gimmicks – all eyes and ears are focussed on him.
In the packed out dimly lit room, James announces before his opening song, “it’s so smoky in here it’s like we’re in a fucking cloud.” With all the effing and blinding, it’s hard to believe that such a pure and delicate voice comes from the same person. But as the guitar riff for opening song, ‘Til the Sun Comes Up’ begins, the crowd fall silent and James’ voice begins to resonate around the room. With not a single phone screen to be seen, the room is submerged into pure darkness, with just the faintest spotlight beaming on James. The audience are clearly absorbing his refined and crisp voice, as the room stands so still and quiet that you could hear a pin drop.
Live At Leeds celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, with a successful day full of live music. The annual festival’s line up boasted 180+ plus acts, performing on twenty-two different stages across the city. With such a huge variety of bands and artists for the 10,000+ strong crowds to see, there was certainly something for everyone. We headed down to the festival to catch the best up and coming artists from across the UK.
Screaming is part and parcel of going to a live show nowadays, but the sound that comes from inside Manchester Arena for 5 Seconds of Summer’s second night in the city is like nothing else.
The Australian four-piece have had a successful few years, having previously supported One Direction on two worldwide tours, gaining them a loyal fan base. Since then, the band have gone on to release two albums and play to larger audiences each year.
It’s no surprise then that as the lights come up and the band run on for opening song ‘Carry On’, the screaming from the thousands of adolescent girls gets unimaginably louder. Comments such as, “oh my god I get to hear my favourite songs live” can only just be heard over the crying and emotional displays from nearby girls.
As one of the biggest festivals in the world embarks on its second weekend of live music, the question is, what has happened to the music?
Last weekend it was difficult not to stumble over an article covering Coachella, the annual live music and arts festival held in Indio, California. With headline acts including Guns ‘n’ Roses, Calvin Harris and LCD Soundsystem, the festival had coverage from hundreds of newspapers, magazines and blogs. The reportage, however, was a mixture of reviews of the performances, which so called ‘celebrities’ attended and, most importantly, what they were wearing.
Festival fashion is not a new thing, with high street stores annually guiding you what to wear to the biggest live music events of the summer. Bum bags, flower hair garlands, see through rain macs – we’ve seen them all, but shouldn’t the focus be on the music and not the fashion?
If you’re a local in the Leeds area you’ve probably either been to see local band VITAMIN or seen a tonne of posters promoting their many gigs in the city. The group, who met at school, have had a successful career so far, receiving praise from BBC Introducing and being played on Radio 1 numerous times. We caught up with lead singer Jared to talk about their return to the festival and their upcoming debut album.
Q: You performed at Live At Leeds last year – which venue did you play at and what was the atmosphere like on the day?
A: We loved Live at Leeds last year! We played the Stylus and in all honesty I had my hesitations. We’d never played a venue that size off our own back, so to walk onto that stage with a room full of people looking back at you was a real sense of satisfaction.
One of the most highly anticipated artists at this years Live At Leeds Festival is Manchester born singer/songwriter and producer Shura. Having made the longlist on the ‘BBC Sound of’ poll back in 2015, Shura has released a string of successful singles including ‘2Shy’ and ‘Touch’, and her debut album ‘Nothing’s Real’ is set for release on July 8th. We caught up with Shura before her performance at Live At Leeds to find out how she’s looking forward to the festival.
Q: Hi Shura! How are you feeling about playing Live At Leeds this year?
A: Super excited about returning to Leeds! I had a great time playing the city before so it’s gonna be mega!
Q: Which artists are you hoping to see perform at the festival?
A: My mates Dahlia Sleeps are playing so I’m definitely gonna try and catch them. I’m also really up for watching Pumarosa again – they’re sick live! So are Clean Cut Kid! And it would be wicked to see Kelly Lee Owens play, as I’ve never seen her live show.
Live At Leeds is back again this year and is proudly celebrating its 10th anniversary with a huge line up full of established and up-and-coming acts.
Live At Leeds, the award winning metropolitan festival, will take place this year on Saturday 30th April in a variety of venues across Leeds. The festival is an opportunity for fans to see new emerging artists as well as more established acts in different locations across Leeds, all in one jam-packed day!
With the festival celebrating its 10th anniversary, a huge accolade for such a small music event, the line up this year is bigger and better than ever before. With a variety of artists from across the country making their way to the lively city of Leeds, fans will be treated to some spectacular performances throughout the day.
With a line up boasting over 150 acts, the decision of who to see will be a tough one. To help you decide which artists not to miss, we thought we’d let you in on our top picks.